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    From the NYT Opinion columns: Uh, let me guess ... Trump's immigration policies remind Paul, a retired Princeton professor, of ... how hard the Princeton Admissions department works to keep out undocumented admittees, turning away 95% of applicants, many of whom have dreamt desperately of going to Princeton? That when you come right down to...
  • @SMK
    Fascism, including Nazism, was largely a reaction to the rise and threat of Communism, a totalitarian and genocidal ideology that enslaved 1/4 to 1/3 of the world and killed and murdered over a hundred million people but had nothing to do with Karl Marx and Jewish Bolsheviks , Trotsky most famously, who joined Lenin into putting his theories into practice in the erstwhile Soviet Union. And, of course, there were and are no Jewish Marxists in the U.S. and other European countries.

    Likewise, opposition to an invasion of tens of millions of nonwhites, overwhelmingly Mestizos and pure "indios" from Mexico and Central America, has nothing to do with the actual crimes and behavior of "Hispanics"/Latinos": the myriads of rapes and gang-rapes, assaults and murders, acts of torture and mutilation, vicious gangs like MS-13, drug and sex "trafficking," the inability or refusal to assimilate, and much else.

    “Fascism, including Nazism, was largely a reaction to the rise and threat of Communism, a totalitarian and genocidal ideology that enslaved 1/4 to 1/3 of the world and killed and murdered over a hundred million people”

    Fascism was national socialism. Communism was international socialism. Socialism means government owns or runs the private economy. Government operates by force (regulations, laws, confiscated money) so socialism is a society based on force. It inevitably leads to the escalation of use of force as things go wrong (and things will go wrong Read The Road to Serfdom for why). So socialists end up killing millions of their own citizens. All the rage in Europe in the early 20th century was planning the economy, Nazism and Communism were just two different flavors of the same stuff.

    Capitalism is a society based on voluntary association.

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    Capitalism is enforced by state violence.
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  • From the Wall Street Journal today: For background, my review, "Blood Simple," in Taki's Magazine of Carreyrou's Bad Blood is here.
  • @dearieme
    There's a large literature that shows that "annual checkups" are pointless. It's pretty unlikely that obsessing about "your latest cholesterol numbers" makes any sense either.

    I don’t know about that.

    There are all sorts of things that can be found. Do you know your blood pressure? If it is high and you don’t know about it there is a big price to pay. There are no symptoms.

    If your blood glucose is high there is a strong correlation between low A1C
    (Average glucose) and longer life.

    A routine urine test showed that a relative had developed autoimmune disease that was attacking his kidneys. He is undergoing chemotherapy to wipe out T cells and reset his immune system. If he only discovered something was wrong when he felt sick his kidneys could be gone.

    My doctor found an aortic aneurysm, a totally symptom less condition that killed my brother. I now get yearly ultrasounds to monitor the aorta. You never know anything is wrong until your aorta de laminates, than the mortality rate is 10% per hour until emergency open heart surgery. Needless to say, planned surgery to repair before things are crap has a much better survival rate. Emergency surgery in the middle of the night does not get the best OR nurses, the best anesthesia, the best anything.

    Lots of cancers are found in tests, xrays and examinations. My sister in law got an xray for an elective procedure, turned out to be a mass and required surgery – never would have known of it if she did not get the xray.

    My podiatrist resisted getting a colon cancer screen for dozens of years. His daughter asked for her 18th birthday that he get a colonoscopy. He did and it turned out he had cancer – his wife cried before me for nearly an hour.

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    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    "Do you know your blood pressure? If it is high and you don’t know about it there is a big price to pay. There are no symptoms."

    A Death Certificate once came across my work space for a Hispanic Male age 50; high BP was listed as the COD. Pretty sad when you think about it. President FDR suffered for decades but you can just go the Dr. and have some cheap BP pills prescribed.

    I told a coworker about that, a Puerto Rican woman. She said that wasn't usual because men will avoid seeing a Dr. for years.

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  • And yet, the Mainstream Media is much more up in arms over the Russian Menace in 2018 than it was in 1985.
  • No one cared or was worried about Russia after St. Ronald.

    The whole Russia concern is from a Democratic/Hillery plot to de-legitimize the election of Trump, nothing more. The narrative: if Russia wanted Trump to defeat Hil and if Russia used its super powerful spies and hackers in favor if Trump, then we have “the Russian selected not democratically elected” Trump. The media beat the drum so long and hard now people are scared of Russia in general. Same thing happened with #metoo, the press gunned up concern for women abused by powerful men as an attack missile on Trump, only again it spun out of control and is destroying liberal men at will.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    Same thing happened with #metoo, the press gunned up concern for women abused by powerful men as an attack missile on Trump, only again it spun out of control and is destroying liberal men at will
     
    You gotta admit though, it's pretty fun to watch.
    , @Forbes
    Yeah, it's all about The Narrative. Obama's outreach to Putin's Russia was Hillary and the misspelled 'reset' button; later Obama with his "tell Vlad I'll have more flexibility after my re-election" shtick. Who was cozying up to whom?

    Now, it's been Trump's in-bed with the Ruskies, 24/7. Hilarious. And sad.
    , @Thirdeye
    Russia was supposed to roll over and die during the 1990s-2000s. They didn't, and that pissed off some powerful people in this country. How dare those Slavic pipsqueaks insist on controlling their own country and resources!
    , @MBlanc46
    I think there’s more to the hate on Russia than the 2016 election. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Wall Street and Harvard boys thought that they were going to get control of Russia’s resources. Then along came Putin. The anti-Russian campaign is at least as much an anti-Putin campaign.
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  • In the Journal of Economic Literature, Duke U. economist Timur Kuran writes: Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 56 (2018), in press. Islam and Economic Performance: Historical and Contemporary Links Timur Kuran* Abstract. This essay critically evaluates the analytic literature concerned with causal connections between Islam and economic performance. It focuses on works since 1997, when...
  • @Luke Lea
    Steve writes: "The printing press is arguably the biggest invention of all time, but Muslims wouldn’t have much to do with it for several centuries."

    The printing press and the steam engine.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ccu91wcovedefH6WbdWaEz6F_uzvy8tab7GHoZBv1BQ/edit?usp=sharing

    [regular isteve readers may remember this from the past]

    I am a hedgehog.

    Greatest invention so far: written language. Allowed people to pass on knowledge for subsequent generations to build on. Prior to writing it was limited to memorized texts (epic poems, songs, etc.) It also allowed one man to gain from the knowledge of people who he could never meet, due to temporal or geographic distance. It also allowed unpopular or misunderstood ideas to be preserved.

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    • Agree: Luke Lea
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  • From reading Establishment writers, such as New York Times deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman's recent book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, it's clear that the conventional wisdom propounders among the US media believe implicitly but wholeheartedly in a conspiracy theory about a vast globe-spanning anti-Semitic Putin-Trump plot. After all, haven't...
  • I have a close Jewish friend and we are trying to sell an idea we developed together. I have to say I am quite envious as it seems any Jewish person, no matter how successful, will give him (and I tag along) at least a meeting.

    We met venture capitalists in trendy Manhattan hotels (I particularly liked the hotel that had a pool on the roof and a bar right indoors of the pool so girls in swimsuits were walking through the bar to get to the elevator to their room). Booze and nearly naked young women is pretty OK by me.

    No one liked our idea but he got an amazing response of talk to me, lets meet.

    Even people I knew in my life who met with some success are impossible to meet with.

    Maybe they have a better model. How much does it cost you to offer a fellow person a hearing?

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    If the IQ advantage is 10 points, then there is more chance that some random MOT has an idea worth investing in, than a random goy. In the goyische world, you've got to get a reputation first, and to develop the reputation you've got to get some experience, so you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps somehow.

    I think with businesspeople in general, they start out money limited and then if successful, rapidly become time limited. So I am a bit surprised that Jews of any wealth level will just let down the drawbridge for any old MOT who knocks on their door. Most aren't going to be Bernie Madoff.
    , @TheBoom
    I have seen the same thing in meetings with Venture Capitalists by bringing a graduate of an ivy league school along who played no important role in the company. Someone who didn't have time for the meeting magically had time and the attendees were far more interested in taking with her than the other two of us who merely graduated from top public universities.
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  • All these reasons sound good to explain extraordinary success in home (Russian) grown business. Knowledge of starting, running and growing a business, foreign contacts for trade, etc.

    In Russia all industry and natural resources were owned by the government and privatized. The distribution was a political and legalistic process. Probably what lead to the most success was inside contacts with the elite (who never changed) and an ability to master and navigate the rules (like a smart lawyer can have Amazon paying no taxes and getting a refund after studying the tax code for a few hundred hours). I doubt running a black market gas station got you many points in getting ownership of Lukoil.

    I would just ask the source of the oligarchs wealth in each case: if it were control of natural resources or purchase of pre-existing industry or franchise, then it was pull; if it were creating something out of nothing, than it was knowledge and effort.

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    • Replies: @a reader

    I doubt running a black market gas station got you many points in getting ownership of Lukoil.
     


    And yet ...

    He first worked as a street-trader, and then as a mechanic at a local factory, where he sold retreaded car tyres as a sideline.

    This guy.
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  • From People:
  • @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Corporate philanthropy is a dubious bit of business anyway and should be debarred by law. Shareholders are free to donate to the causes they choose drawing on their personal resources.
     
    This has stuck in my craw for years. Sure, corporations could argue that charity donations are a form of marketing/goodwill, but they still have to choose among the tens of thousands of charities and thus are making value judgements with MY money.

    Corporations should have five options with capital:

    - Invest in existing operations
    - Acquire other businesses
    - Dividend
    - Share repurchase
    - Reduce debt

    All of those presumably will benefit shareholders (though, in reality, options 1 & 2 seem to hurt), but giving my money to various SJW shakedowns not only doesn't benefit me, it causes me harm.

    Once you exchange your money for a corporate good or service it is not your money any more.

    As a shareholder you have no say in the expenditures of the corporation beyond voting for the board of directors. There is something called corporate waste but in general you would be better off electing new directors or selling your shares if you don;t like how they spend because it is very difficult to get a court to overturn business judgment.

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  • I saw Don Giovanni tonight at the Pacific Opera Project. It got me thinking about how long Mozart has until they come for him too as part of #MeToo. On the one hand, he's Mozart. On the other hand, have you ever paid attention to his operas? Beethoven, for example, was scandalized by Mozart's and...
  • @Old Palo Altan
    "And do divas really want to be free to sing to their own tunes instead of those of Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini?"

    Wagner and Mozart were great: the others were but tunesmiths, however enjoyable - it is painful to see them placed all in a row, as though somehow equally worthy.

    Verdi a tunesmith? You reduce opera to two composers.

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    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Your earlier comment is absolutely correct. So I'll give you Verdi, if you want him, particularly as you seem to agree about Rossini and Puccini.

    But I want to stress that tunesmiths are admirable, indeed indispensable. I would not want to be without Franz Lehar, even if Richard Strauss gives one so much more.
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  • @Dave from Oz
    All we need is an SJW composer with the talent of Mozart. Or even one tenth of it.

    The problem is: opera is obsolete. It's a product of a time before electronics and loudspeakers, when the only way to perform to the back of the room was not only to sing, but to sing in a very specific and difficult-to-do way. Any stories that we might want to tell with opera can be told far more easily in other ways.

    So many comments dissing opera. Opera is a melding of music, theater, and poetry.

    There is nothing obsolete about any of those, although in our degraded culture recent product in all three may be lacking.

    Fewer people go to the opera but fewer people do anything other than stream and social media.

    Western music is one of the great accomplishments of humanity. Listen to some Chinese music or Indian music and then listen to a western orchestra, it is magnificent and sublime. The theater of opera was modeled by modern Italians to try to recreate Greek Theater. The Met, Covent Garden, La Scala have wonderful productions. The poetry can be helped by super titles since like most I can’t understand anything but English.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    I love it when someone brought up in one culture, and unable to appreciate another, naively points out the superiority of his own by shouting "Just look! (or listen, in this case).

    There's nothing better to order at a fancy restaurant than a cheeseburger and curly fries -- ask any five year old!
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  • From the Daily Beast: ... At a sold out fundraising dinner for gay Wall Streeters in the lavish Old Stock Exchange building in the heart of Wall Street. Barbra Streisand sang an updated version of "Send in the Clowns" with lyrics addressing what Hillary seemed to see as the most burning issue of the campaign:...
  • “They”

    The American people. All progressives and leftists hope to get by the finish line with lies, envy and distortion. They all fear that the people will get wise and “they” will snatch victory away at the last moment.

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  • Is there a sense in which South Asians, with their obsession with caste, value diversity for the sake of diversity more than do Europeans? There's a sense in which "Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains," "All men are created equal" or "Workers of the world, unite!" are extremely European ideas. Down...
  • @Pat Boyle
    As has been pointed out recently the term "diversity" actually means "More Negroes". For example if you want to see a monolithic racial body look at the students of Computer Science at Cal Berkeley. They are virtually all Chinese. We could increase the nominal diversity if we admitted more whites. But no one dares to argue for that.

    No one every means more Chinese when they preach for diversity. They don't even mean more Hispanics. And they certainly don't mean more Europeans. The call for diversity is a code phrase that means more Negroes.

    Another case where connotation trumps denotation.

    Look this is simple. In Regents of University of California v. Bakke SCOTUS held you cannot have affirmative action for minorities if there was no showing of past discrimination against said minorities. Since U Cal never discriminated against blacks it could not discriminate in favor of blacks. In dicta one justice said the university in its wisdom could favor some race to add diversity to the educational experience if in their educational wisdom they decided diversity would be more educational to students.

    So diversity became the euphemism for favoring blacks. It was legal while affirmative action was not in places with no proven discrimination against blacks.

    Look at college catalogues online from before Bakke. None held up “diversity” meaning racial diversity, as a positive. After Bakke it spread like a virus and media stories held it up as a great good. You cold read quotes from apartment hunters saying I love Greenpoint Brooklyn because it is so diverse, as if they like it better than the Upper East Side where their kids could scooter down the sidewalk without fear but the co-op would cost fifteen times as much.

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  • From the New York Times: I'd have much more to say on this fascinating question, except I'm going to bed right now.
  • @J1234

    The thing they need to control for is living in a working world which rewards early risers and punishes night owls.
     
    That's true. Also, the world is a more dangerous place at night. When are you most likely to be killed by a drunk driver? Get drunk yourself in a bar? Inhale second hand smoke in a bar? Get shot in a bar?

    Murders happen during the day, too, but you get the idea. Health food stores aren't open at 2 AM, but bars Dunkin Donuts are. I stay up late, but don't go to bars and haven't since college.

    Progressive auto insurance has a thing you plug into your car to earn a possible discount on your premium. The things that are “good”, no driving during rush hour and after midnight. I asked my agent and he said “nothing good happens after midnight”.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Nothing good happens after midnight.

    There was a probably unConstitutional police experiment in a Florida town. They looked into everybody who was out and about in the wee hours of a weekday. In almost every single case they found something arrestworthy. No non-criminal adult is out and about late when he will be working tomorrow, and if he works late he's not out and about either.
    , @sabril
    Yeah, I was just reading about a horrific car crash on Long Island in which a young couple was burned alive in their car after a drunk driver ran into them.

    The pileup occurred at 1:30am.
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  • In the near future, there will be more news coming out about genetics and correlates of IQ. So this might be a good time for me to ask some really dumb questions about the genetic causes of variance in IQ using my favorite cognitive tool of weird/homey analogies. Consider the stereotypical reputations of three vehicles...
  • @Anonymous
    The new replacement radiators for Jaguars are of course made by the same manufacturer that makes them for everything else, and even the OEM was, at least in the old days, the most reliable part of the car. The V12 had an oil/coolant intercooler and that caused trouble once in a while.

    The old radiator shops could fix any radiator but the EPA killed most of them so we just buy new ones from the suppliers, at least they are now cheaper than in the old days.

    Really, the only bad thing about Jags in the old days was the Lucas electrics, the Borg Warner automatic transmission, and the general lackadaisacal attitude of the assemblers. Once you had them sorted they were no worse than a lot of other cars. The carbureted emission control years had the godawful Strombergs, but you could convert to SUs and they were better, somewhat. The last few years of the XJ six they started having more head warping and head gasket issues, for whatever reason. Poor tooling?

    Sadly, the junkyards have crushed out the majority of the 87-back XJ saloons and even the ajayjay era cars (XJ40s), meaning that if you wanted to build a T-bucket with a Jag rear end they are getting very scarce. It isn't a T bucket without a Jag rear and a beer keg for a gas tank, you know.

    Jags Jags Jags, If you want a car with the disposition of a supermodel having a bad day who just lost a heel, buy a Ferrari. (This does not apply to the 2010 and later which are quite tame and reliable, but I once owned a 2003).

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  • Interesting thought. Obviously intelligence about mathematics means perceiving and processing about immutable objective things. You are either congruent with the outside reality or wrong. It follows that the brain with fewer mistakes rather than the novel brain would do better.

    Other types of mental activity, such as leadership, persuasion, artistic creation, seem more about creating a reality than perceiving a reality.

    The philosopher, the poet, the lover and the lunatic are all of imagination compact. They seek to impose a view of the world that is theirs on others. The difference is in how many they succeed in convincing: the philosopher, many, the poet, some, the lover, one and the lunatic, none.
    *That’s Shakespiere and Thomas Szatz not my thought..

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  • From Ars Technica: Zuck's making a list and checking it twice Gonna find out who's naughty and nice Zuckerberg is spyin' on you Zuckerberg is spyin' on you Zuckerberg is spyin' on you He sees you when you're sleepin' He knows when you're awake He knows if you've been bad or good So be good...
  • @Jonathan Mason

    The British don’t really have a cuisine. They just steal other people’s cuisine.
     
    Well, this is kind of true, but when I was growing up in England in the 50's and 60's, I think we ate rather better than most Americans eat today, and there was almost zero obesity.

    We had excellent local lamb, beef, and chicken, and new laid eggs which always needed to be cooked for an extra minute. My sister's husband raised a few sheep, which were butchered by his brother, we had fresh bread daily from the bakery next door to the elementary school, we had unlimited blackberries in the fall, as they grew everywhere, and of course blackberry and apple pie was the thing.

    We had excellent apple pies, always made with large green Bramley apples, which were better than anything in the US, even though apple pie is regarded as a signature US dish. We also had blackcurrants, which are almost unknown in the US. In the summer, around the time of Wimbledon, strawberries were harvested in the Channel Islands and consumed in large amounts with fresh cream, a product also unknown in the US.

    Milk was from grass-fed cows, but we never called it "grass fed" as we did not know there was any other kind. The farmer would deliver it daily in glass bottles with a foil top, and the cream would occupy the top two inches and would be carefully poured off to be used in various ways.

    We had really tasty tomatoes that were even better fried for breakfast, and many kinds of UK and New Zealand cheeses. although yoghurt was pretty much unknown until the 60s.

    Prior to entry into the Common Market in 1972, we had plenty of vegetables, but what we did not have was a lot of hot-climate fruit. We did get bananas from Grenada, Granny Smith apples from South Africa, and Jaffa oranges from Israel, but I had never seen a red water melon until I was about 20 years old, and pineapple was something that only came out of a can.

    Nor did I ever see a pizza until I was an adult, but we had Welsh rarebit, which was melted cheese on toast, sometimes with some beer in the mix, which was pretty good, and Cornish pasties, Melton Mowbray pies, and a whole variety of meat pies such as steak-and-kidney, Scouse pie, steak and mushroom pie, Shepherd's pie, mince pie, steak-and-onion pies, and so on.

    There were many characteristic desserts, often served with Bird's custard sauce which was liquid when hot, but jellified when cold.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird%27s_Custard


    It is commonly said, even by the English themselves, that English cooking is the worst in the world. It is supposed to be not merely incompetent, but also imitative, and I even read quite recently, in a book by a French writer, the remark: ‘The best English cooking is, of course, simply French cooking.’

    Now that is simply not true, as anyone who has lived long abroad will know, there is a whole host of delicacies which it is quite impossible to obtain outside the English-speaking countries. No doubt the list could be added to, but here are some of the things that I myself have sought for in foreign countries and failed to find.

    First of all, kippers, Yorkshire pudding, Devonshire cream, muffins and crumpets. Then a list of puddings that would be interminable if I gave it in full: I will pick out for special mention Christmas pudding, treacle tart and apple dumplings. Then an almost equally long list of cakes: for instance, dark plum cake (such as you used to get at Buzzard’s before the war), short-bread and saffron buns. Also innumerable kinds of biscuit, which exist, of course, elsewhere, but are generally admitted to be better and crisper in England.

    Then there are the various ways of cooking potatoes that are peculiar to our own country. Where else do you see potatoes roasted under the joint, which is far and away the best way of cooking them? Or the delicious potato cakes that you get in the north of England? And it is far better to cook new potatoes in the English way — that is, boiled with mint and then served with a little melted butter or margarine — than to fry them as is done in most countries.

    Then there are the various sauces peculiar to England. For instance, bread sauce, horse-radish sauce, mint sauce and apple sauce; not to mention redcurrant jelly, which is excellent with mutton as well as with hare, and various kinds of sweet pickle, which we seem to have in greater profusion than most countries.

    What else? Outside these islands I have never seen a haggis, except one that came out of a tin, nor Dublin prawns, nor Oxford marmalade, nor several other kinds of jam (marrow jam and bramble jelly, for instance), nor sausages of quite the same kind as ours.

    Then there are the English cheeses. There are not many of them but I fancy Stilton is the best cheese of its type in the world, with Wensleydale not far behind. English apples are also outstandingly good, particularly the Cox’s Orange Pippin.

    And finally, I would like to put in a word for English bread. All the bread is good, from the enormous Jewish loaves flavoured with caraway seeds to the Russian rye bread which is the colour of black treacle. Still, if there is anything quite as good as the soft part of the crust from an English cottage loaf (how soon shall we be seeing cottage loaves again?) I do not know of it.

    [George Orwell: In Defense of English Cooking]

    the type of prepared potatoes kippers dumplings and cakes you mention are almost unknown outside of the UK,

    Most French dishes are known from Athens to Montreal

    You have a couple good cheeses (doesn’t every country) likewise beers (likewise) but your food is the pits. Even your description of the highlights does not entice me. No arguing about taste, but there are very few British ethnic restaurants in America and many french, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, restaurants.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    When I was a kid, "Old English" steak houses were all over the place, replete with Tudor decor, imported old double decker London buses out front and beer served in glass "yards".
    , @Jonathan Mason

    No arguing about taste, but there are very few British ethnic restaurants in America and many french, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, restaurants.
     
    True, but how many Italian, Mexican, Indian TV programs about cooking are on American TV to compete with the likes of Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, the Great British Bakeoff, Celebrity Masterchef, and several others?

    Certain cuisines, I would say, including, for example British and Greek, depend very much on having access to the fresh authentic ingredients of the home country. I love Greek food, but have never been able to find a Greek restaurant in the US that can deliver the same eating experience as any of a thousand ordinary Greek tavernas in the Greek islands.

    I love French food. Even the snackbar at the Louvre beats anything I can find in Florida for sheer yumminess, and I love the savory stuffed pancakes on sale everywhere in the streets of Paris. But there are very, very few French restaurants in my part of the US. Of course you will find them in Montreal, because that is a Francophone city, and the French influence is noticeable in Haiti, but I have never seen any in Greece that I can recall.

    Other cuisines, however, like Italian and Mexican lend themselves to restaurants in the US, because the basic ingredients are very cheap and can be prepared quickly and sold for a very high mark up. English, French, and German cuisines depend more on the use of quality ingredients and slow cooking, so are not so profitable.

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  • Every app I install on my android phone asks for crazy permissions, access to phone, camera, contacts list, gps etc. If you refuse them the app does not start.

    I’m sure the facebook app asked for access to you phone (including making calls), contacts, sms (including sending and reading sms messages), network, location, camera, etc. and you granted such permissions (perhaps not understanding what you were doing).

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  • Here's a brand new academic paper that makes the same point I immediately made back in 2013 when the New York Times first trumpeted Raj Chetty's map of where there is high upward mobility of income: it didn't look like a map of respectable regional attributes, such as a lack of Sprawl. Instead, it looked...
  • @Buzz Mohawk
    Why wouldn't China work toward replacing the Dollar with the Yuan? At some point, others will support that. Soros, for example, has been saying openly for years that he would love for the world to use something other than the Dollar.

    If that were to happen, how would that effect US debt, purchasing power, etc?

    China will not allow free movement of its currency, it will not allow market interest rates. If you got a billion yuan in a Shanghai bank good luck trying to spend it in the us or Canada. If you got a billion dollars you can move it and spend it anywhere in the world, except Cuba and No Korea. If China allowed the free movement of its currency, every rich Chinese would move everything out. It can not be a reserve currency or of much interest to anyone other than someone under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government, and then only reluctantly by force of guns.

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    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    It can not be a reserve currency or of much interest to anyone other than someone under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government...

     

    For now.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b4/Flag_of_the_United_States_%28upside_down%29.svg/120px-Flag_of_the_United_States_%28upside_down%29.svg.png
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  • In Vox, there's an article about the Amy Wax Brouhaha at Penn Law School that is amusing even by 2018 standards for Guilt-by-Association: And, after a slow start, we're off to the races: Amy Wax ~ Jason Richwine ~ Richard Spencer ~ Charles Murray ~ John Derbyshire.
  • @Anonymous
    Do we know that teaching intro is a bad thing? One thing I've heard about law school is that the third year is typically blown off by students because they've already lined up their jobs. So maybe teachers want to teach the first year students, who have high motivation.

    Yes I can see a scientist wanting to blow off teaching so he could do his research and publish and get a prize. But there is nothing new in the law since forever. Most influence is probably in the classroom shaping future leaders.

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  • From Wired: But, of course, Wired didn't ask Ms. Wojcicki about her central role in getting James Damore fired. Why not? Well, would you want to get the head censor of the video monopoly mad at you if you put videos on Youtube?
  • @Autochthon
    Each has a niche.

    Davos is for the illuminati with unfathomable power and wealth. Goldman Sachs. "Brown shoes in town!?" Mumsy's sloop in Yarmouth. That sort of thing.

    South By Southwest is for the nouveau riche, hipster doofuses, so-called independent musicians, the Silly Valley set, and those with pretensions to these things. New money and hangers-on. Those assholes who founded the Powder Mountain abomination in Utah would be there.

    Burning man is for the truly crazy and those curious and brave enough to visit its periphery: orgies, drugs, half-sculpture and half-automobile monstrosities that might be from a Mad Max movie or from one of those corny old cartoons about a zany race Hanna-Barbera used to make.... Oh, and did I mention the drug-fueled orgies? That man is mostly burning from venereal diseases and ketamine....

    Davos is for the illuminati with unfathomable power and wealth. Goldman Sachs. “Brown shoes in town!?” Mumsy’s sloop in Yarmouth. That sort of thing.

    I never thought of Goldman like that. They were scrappy Jews. There are white shoe law firms like Cravath, Caldwalder, Chase, Davis, where “brown shoes in town” means something.

    Its like the takeover law firms. The better firms, like mine, would not take on a raider who wanted to takeover some fortune 500 company. It just was not done, and the people running such companies were good people and our bread and butter. No matter that they were incompetent.

    But some scrappy Jewish forms would take the case and unlocking the billions a poorly run mega corp by turning it over to new management eventually won out making the takeover firms fabulously rich and respectable.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Two examples of the schmucks (Jews and otherwise) with unfathomable money and power; the crowd for each event is not monolithic, but each has it's niche with shared characteristics.
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  • From the New York Times: In ‘The People vs. Democracy,’ Trump Is Just One Populist Among Many Books of The Times By JENNIFER SZALAI MARCH 14, 2018 The title of Yascha Mounk’s new book, “The People vs. Democracy,” makes clever use of what looks like a glaring oxymoron: After all, what is democracy if not...
  • @Calvin X Hobbes
    OT:

    What a Professor Can't Say

    Penn says Amy Wax will no longer teach required first-year courses after another widely criticized set of comments about race -- this time about black law students at the university -- comes to light.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/03/15/penn-says-amy-wax-will-no-longer-teach-required-first-year-law-courses-after-more#disqus_thread

    QUOTE:
    The new controversy involves a video interview by Glenn Loury, professor of economics at Brown University, who has been critical of affirmative action. In the interview, Wax says, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half.”

    Wax added, “I can think of one or two students who've graduated in the top half of my required first-year course,” out of about 90 students per year. She also said that the University of Pennsylvania Law Review has a racial diversity mandate and suggested that some black students shouldn't go to college.
    ...
    Ruger in his letter says that it’s “imperative for me as dean to state that these claims are false: black students have graduated in the top of the class at Penn Law, and the Law Review does not have a diversity mandate. Rather, its editors are selected based on a competitive process.”

    Contrary to any suggestion otherwise, he continued, “black students at Penn Law are extremely successful, both inside and outside the classroom, in the job market and in their careers.”

    Ruger didn’t specify exactly how wrong Wax is, and a university spokesperson did not share specific information on law school performance by racial group. Both Ruger and the spokesperson cited Penn Law’s confidential grading policy, with Ruger asserting that Wax “is not free to transgress the policy that student grades are confidential, or to use her access to those Penn Law students who are required to be in her class to further her scholarly ends without students’ permission.”

    END QUOTE

    For numbers from 1992, see

    TABLE 5.1: DISTRIBUTION OF FIRST-YEAR GPAS AT “ELITE” SCHOOLS, SPRING1992,BY RACE

    http://www.adversity.net/Sander/Systemic_Analysis_FINAL.pdf

    See also TABLE 5.3 for the situation at lower-tier law schools.

    A reasonable estimate from those numbers is that 3.6% of black students at "elite" law schools rank in the top quarter. So maybe there are a few black law students at Penn in the top quarter.

    The consistent outcome across tiers is that about half of black law students rank in the bottom 10%.

    Also extremely interesting is

    Table 1: Predictions of first-year class rank in law school by prospective students at all law schools, BPS, 1991

    http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/2006/09/why_doesnt_the_.html#more

    0% of law students predict they'll rank in the bottom quarter in law school, only 1% predict they'll be in the next quartile. Hispanics and whites are very similar in their over-optimistic predictions (though almost certainly not in their actual results), but black predictions are even higher than white predictions. Imagine the surprise of black law students when they discover that coming up with snappy comebacks like "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" is not what the law is all about.

    Cant find evidence of it anywhere but when I was at Berkeley Law school I saw an old article about the school going to no number grades.

    First they tried a system of low pass, pass, and honors, being bottom 10% middle 80% and top 10% reasoning employers would be best served by that. Affirmative action students filled the ranks of the low pass and were unemployable.

    They switched to a system of pass, honors, and high honors, being bottom 60% next 30% and top 10%, so no matter how bad you performed you were indistinguishable from someone in the top half of the class.

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  • From Forbes last Fall: Forbes 400 2017: Meet The Richest People In America OCT 17, 2017 @ 07:45 AM By Kerry A. Dolan and Luisa Kroll It was another record year for the wealthiest people in America, as the price of admission to the country’s most exclusive club jumped nearly 18%. ... Every person in...
  • @Anonym
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e2/US_GDP_per_capita_vs_median_household_income.png

    GDP/capita and real median household income has diverged quite a bit since the Reagan years.

    Its household income, the average household had more people in it in 1984, and probably more earners.

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  • From the Asahi Shimbun:
  • @Old Palo Altan
    How smugly (and rightly) pleased with themselves must the Japanese be as they watch their victorious enemy of 1945 destroy itself through ideologically driven mass immigration while they keep their superior stock pure - and ready to step into the vaccuum we will leave behind.

    Japanese are having very few children. They are rubbing themselves out. Everyone seems to think the lot of a Japanese (salaryman’s) wife is pretty dismal with his work centered socializing at night, so maybe instead of feminism it is some sort of masculine ethic that got off track. It does seem the Japanese take anything to an extreme, like ten years internship to learn how to grind wasabi.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    More like 10 years internship to learn how to grind sesame!
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  • From the Los Angeles Times: Who is the California man who just pleaded guilty to unwittingly aiding Russian interference in the 2016 election? By MATT HAMILTON, JAMES QUEALLY and MICHAEL LIVINGSTON FEB 16, 2018 | 6:10 PM | SANTA PAULA, CALIF. A California man who pleaded guilty to identity theft as part of the investigation...
  • @Svigor
    Seriously though, is there a word for "rule by mass media corporations"?

    Because that's what we have in the USA.

    Mediocracy?

    I still love Mossburg Everyone would think it terrible to have a mass media censored/run by the government, but no one is concerned that we have a government run by the mass media.

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  • @PhysicistDave
    Lugash wrote to me:

    Electronic interception. As an infosec dilettante I can think of a half dozen different types of targets and dozens(if not hundreds) of attack methods the NSA would use. Encryption doesn’t mean anything when you’ve got a misconfigured server/router or an owned endpoint.
     
    Well... I'm afraid you are showing yourself to be worse than, as you put it, "an infosec dilettante."

    As I said, I did technical work for the US Intelligence Community back in the '80s and '90s. And, I can assure you that very straightforward security efforts on the part of the Russians would have prevented even the NSA from intercepting their communications.

    Current decent-quality encryption is completely unbreakable unless you have a quantum computer far more powerful than what seems to be achievable -- as a physicist (I have a Ph.D. from Stanford), I assure you that there are formidable obstacles to creating that size quantum computer.

    The tell-tale is the paragraph I quoted about the "Happy Birthday" sign in front of the White House. This is quite obviously not the sort of action taken by people who seriously want to remain secret.

    The Russians did not care about being caught. Their getting caught has created enormously more disruption in the US political system than they could possibly have achieved through their silly Twitter antics.

    All of this does make you wonder if Russians have IQs ten points higher than Americans!

    I don’t think the Russians knew the USG would implode trying to destroy Trump and therefore intentionally left clues of their actions. I live here and I didn’t know how the establishment would go insane trying to destroy TRUMP. (Funny how
    “the establishment” now includes college students and young people.)

    They hated Regan and Bush but nothing like the current attacks.

    Probably the Russians had some vestigial operations to undermine confidence in various democratic elections, just as they probably promoted black lives matter and the occupy movement. Just a cheap way to jab an enemy with their own domestic problems. Didn;t we fund Islamic resistance to Russians in some country?

    The funny thing is, the unbelievable reaction to Trump leads me to believe he maybe threatens the status quo elites and grifters feeding at the federal trough.

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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    (Funny how “the establishment” now includes college students and young people.)
     
    Right! Because college students and young people are never recruited to be the minions of the moneyed interests, nor the Leftists polluting our political discourse with the latest appeal to lemming sentimentality. Yep, you cannot deceive the omniscience of college students and young people. No you can't. Nope.
    , @guest
    "Didn;t we fund Islamic resistance to Russians in some country"

    Try all Muslim countries. That was one of our major strategies during the Cold War. Traditional Islamicists were natural enemies of the socialists and social democrats favored by Moscow.

    They also like to blow themselves up.
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  • @eD
    I don't always agree with Jerome Armstrong by any means, but he has a good point when he notes that this guy here is the only one indicted who has any chance of seeing the inside of a courtroom. The others are out of the country and not going to show up. What that means is that very little of Mueller's allegations are going to get tested in a court of law, with defense arguments and defense witnesses. He can pretty much say anything and not have to worry about countervailing legal arguments.

    He can pretty much say anything and not have to worry about countervailing legal arguments.

    Yeah, like one of those secret FISA courts!

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  • I thought the SCOUTS has held that the 1st amendment applies to foreign nationals residing in the US. Here’s a typical news article:

    As immigration attorneys, we are careful to explain to our clients their rights and obligations under U.S. immigration law. We tell our non-citizen clients all the time that only U.S citizens are guaranteed entry into the U.S. However, we also stress that even non-citizens have rights under the Constitution. The Executive Order, whether on purpose or not, severely limits, in our opinion, Constitutional protections for non-citizens.

    Briefly, even non-citizens have the following guarantees under the U.S Constitution:

    Equal protection of the laws
    Political freedoms of speech and association,
    Due process requirements of fair procedure where their lives, liberty, or property are at stake.

    Unless the Constitution expressly sets apart its protections to U.S. citizens, it protects non-citizens too.

    So if some Russian corporation or person wants to express political opinions on Facebook or Twitter or somewhere, why can;t they? They can’t give money to a campaign but I’m not clear on the charge? Having a preference in the US election?

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    • Replies: @anon
    They can’t give money to a campaign but I’m not clear on the charge?

    It has something to do with buying ads, which I believe is considered a "contribution" to the campaign.

    Nevertheless. The implication is that Trump "colluded" with these Russians to get them to do this.

    Which, of course, makes no sense whatsoever, since, if he wanted $100,000 worth of ads bought, he could have just bought them himself. Totally legally.

    Or at the very least, could have found some Americans to buy them legally.

    But what we're expected to believe is that he went off to Russia to find some guys to place $100,000 of ads (an amount which is a rounding error compared to the amount spent on campaign ads, of course).

    He illegally colluded in order to do something that he could have done totally legally, and more easily, himself.

    That's the story, according to them.

    It's like paying a guy a hundred bucks to go steal you a candy bar from the gas station down the street.

    , @PhysicistDave
    scrivener3 wrote:

    I thought the SCOUTS has held that the 1st amendment applies to foreign nationals residing in the US.
     
    Yes, no one seems to have remarked on the fact that if the Russians had just sneaked into the country illegally across the Mexican border, then their actions would have been protected speech under the First Amendment, even though (or should I say "because"?) they were illegal aliens.

    But, of course, the current outcome is actually better for the Russians: it serves Putin well for Mueller to continue stirring the pot with such silliness. After all, none of these Russian citizens will ever be "brought to justice" in the USA. It is all just a Marx brothers comedy.
    , @Alden
    Very astute of you.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    I thought the SCOUTS has held that the 1st amendment applies to foreign nationals residing in the US.
     
    Did they get merit badges for that?

    http://www.ocscouts.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/meritBadges.jpg
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  • From Intelligence: Investigating the right tail of wealth: Education, cognitive ability, giving, network power, gender, ethnicity, leadership, and other characteristics Jonathan Wai, Talent IdentificationProgram,DukeUniversity David Lincoln, Wealth-X Accepted 4 November 2015 The extent to which people in the right tail of wealth are highly educated and cognitively able was examined in a sample of 18,245...
  • @ic1000
    > The extent to which people in the right tail of wealth are highly educated and cognitively able was examined in a sample of 18,245 UHNW individuals with net worth’s of USD $30 million plus.

    What the authors find is going to be massively influenced by where this sample of 18,245 people comes from. "Hey, UHNWi's, go to this website and reveal everything about your finances and demographics -- you'll be entered in our sweepstakes for a $25 gift certificate at Golden Corral!"

    The PDF linked by AnotherDad clarifies:

    The data for this study was drawn from the Wealth-X database (Wealth-X and UBS, 2013, 2014; Morrison, Lincoln, Kinnard, & Ng, 2013), which included individuals who had a net worth of USD $30 million or higher and systematic education (undergraduate and/or graduate school) and baseline demographic data. This resulted in a total sample of 18,245 people (Male = 16,430, Female = 1,772, Unknown = 43; Average age = 60.76).
     
    The website for the Wealth-X company:

    Wealth-X’s team of global research professionals is responsible for the creation and maintenance of our preeminent database of hand-curated UHNW dossiers. The team is comprised of over 130 specialists located around the world who are trained in searching the public domain and using open-source intelligence to gather all available information on an individual and ensure accuracy.
     
    And Fortune (via Wikipedia) adds:

    The platform’s database so far includes more than 100,000 profiles spanning the globe, each representing a net worth believed to be more than $30 million, based on publicly available information. This collection represents a half or less of the world’s total of such individuals.
     
    So the numerator is 18,245, the denominator is between 100,000 and 200,000, and the method of selection is apparently unstated.

    Plus, they don’t have data on half of the wealthiest people in the world, they have speculation, guess, public information, incomplete unverifiable junk and, I would bet, lots of extrapolation.

    I suspect that when your earnings get to mid six figures and your assets get to low 7 figures you stop answering questions on applications with anything more than “greater than x”. Your credit card will have no greater borrowing power if you report income of over $500,00 or $6.125 million a year.

    Lots of rich people are that way because they do not spend foolishly on status items, address, consumption goods, etc and lots of conspicuous spenders have debt equal to assets.

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  • @Chuck
    How was getting a surveillance warrant one week before the election and keeping it SECRET supposed to influence the election?

    DO you think all those leaks in the first year of the Trump adm were from disgruntled hires?

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  • @Barnard
    I think the drop in the stock market had more to do with interest rates and the Federal Reserve than the memo. I don't think the memo influenced the market at all.

    Open war among POTUS, FBI and CIA is pretty scary stuff.

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  • From The Verge: Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he does not regret firing James Damore “It was the right decision,” says YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki By Nick [email protected] Jan 19, 2018, 5:20pm EST Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded today to the firing of employee James Damore over his controversial memo on workplace diversity, stating that...
  • @Colleen Pater
    nah no rule of law anymore

    In my opinion, the State and Federal Attorneys General are where all the abuse occurs. They are basically like that device controlled by Capt. Kirk’s mistress in the alternate universe Star Trek episode.

    A dishonest Attorney General can take out any one or any thing. An unsubstantiated charge against a fortune 500 company destroys the company. No trial no due process nothing. A vendetta against an individual destroys the individual. The AG has unlimited resources and no punishment for any overreach or even ethical lapse. At the very worse a conviction is overturned and the AG is free to bring more charges.

    Hillary was beyond legal reach because her husband could meet privately with the Attorney General of the US – that’s near unlimited power.

    Google has nowhere near that kind of power. The AG (Sessions) _could_ bring Google’s capitalization to a few thousand dollars with little effort and no repercussion.

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  • @oddsbodkins
    That will be most interesting. Unfortunately, there was a lot of time between firing and lawsuit to go about deleting emails and chat logs.

    deleting emails are hard. other people have copies and they may not want to go to jail just to cover up for some heartless corporation.

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  • From Recode: Well, not equality in the sense of of mom not having a net worth of $300 million because she rented her garage to Larry and Sergey in 1999 and then Aunt Anne was married to Sergey until that gold-digging strumpet got between them and then Aunt Anne was with Uncle Alex, but Alex...
  • @Rod1963
    When you're rich and powerful like Apple, Google, Facef**k and Twitter. You can punish people like Damore as you see fit and on the side promote violence and blacklisting against said ex-employees.

    Truth isn't winning, it's losing to a Orwellian corporate super state.

    Hold the wrong political views and the corporation finds out - you're fired. Nice isn't it?

    There is no corporate super state; corporations have very little power. The corporations featured in the original blade runner movie mostly went out of business – conclusive evidence of powerlessness. The universities in power at the time of that filming, however, are still at the top of the heap.

    Almost every corporation in the Dow has been replaced in the last 40 years by new corporations. Inability to survive is conclusive evidence of lack of power. The same congresscritters survive year after year, the same universities stay on top, the same newspapers (NYT Wash post) rule the news for forty plus years. They are the power.

    Corporations get on the diversity and sexual equality bandwagon because they are fearful conventional status quo operators. When mocking blacks was safe and conventional, Disney cartoons mocked blacks, when it was not Disney hid all thair old cartoons doing that.

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    • Replies: @ben tillman

    There is no corporate super state; corporations have very little power. The corporations featured in the original blade runner movie mostly went out of business – conclusive evidence of powerlessness. The universities in power at the time of that filming, however, are still at the top of the heap.
     
    Universities are corporations. Not just in a formal legal sense today but also in a long historical synonymity.
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  • @Desiderius

    he knew he’d get fired for writing the memo
     
    No, I don't believe that he did. He exhibits a general naivete, a specific ignorance of the dynamics surrounding these issues, and the usual social awkwardness/low-level spectrum characteristics of his milieu.

    Any of the three would be enough to blind him to the likely consequences. Sometimes progress depends on those who are blind in just those ways, as long as they see clearly in others.

    IMHO it was so carefully crafted that he had the advice of a lawyer while writing it. Perhaps he did not care too much that he was likely to be fired. Maybe he wanted to say the truth after having to swallow so many mendacious lies. Maybe he thought he is young and there will be many jobs/careers. Maybe like Snowdown, he was willing to pay a price to make a statement – he certainly got lots of publicity for his views more than even Steve. Maybe he is young foolish and impulsive and not thinking if he could end up on some sort of blacklist of wrong thinkers. Maybe mid level tech at Google is not so great a job/career now a days.

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    • Agree: Desiderius
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  • From an email from Couch Scientist: Shapiro is one of the more elite Ashkenazi surnames. For example, eight different David Shapiros have Wikipedia pages. While there are many prominent Shapiros, on the other hand, there aren't that many extremely famous Shapiros (I suspect this is just bad luck.) Shapiro is a little like Hamilton, the...
  • @guest
    "all advantages are not due to unearned privilege"

    They want you to think "unearned privilege" when you hear "privilege," which is a dirty trick. Much like with "racism,"--which combines the desire to throw all members of a despised race into gas chambers with innocuously noticing people of a certain color are better at basketball--it's a slippery term. You can't pin them down.

    Even more insidious, they are claiming if a group does better, it must be due to privilege. Sometimes underprivileged groups do better,

    It’s disparate impact applied to everything in life. If anyone or group does better it is because they have an unfair advantage.

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  • @Yan Shen
    Not bad, average Shen federal salary comes out to $115,771.72, despite Shen not being a particularly common Chinese surname! Unfortunately though, I doubt this represents any kind of privilege. As I've repeatedly been arguing, Asian Americans are actually the most openly discriminated against group in American society today.

    I suspect more interesting than just looking at salary is also looking at what fields these people actually work in. Which groups of people in this country are disproportionately engaged in value creating STEM activities?

    I think that’s part of the point: all advantages are not due to unearned privilege, If Smiths make more than Jeffersons it might be earned not a sign of unfairness.

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    • Replies: @guest
    "all advantages are not due to unearned privilege"

    They want you to think "unearned privilege" when you hear "privilege," which is a dirty trick. Much like with "racism,"--which combines the desire to throw all members of a despised race into gas chambers with innocuously noticing people of a certain color are better at basketball--it's a slippery term. You can't pin them down.
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  • From the New York Times: This must have been the first time in the history of the Coney Island Ferris wheel that that ever happened. It's not like the young Woody Allen ever rode the Coney Island Ferris wheel. Oh, wait, Woody has a new movie out called ... "V-I-C-E" ... Hhmmhhmmh ... I dunno,...
  • That’s why in a thousand old Hollywood movies the girl is slapping the guy in reel one and they are getting married in the last reel.

    There is no reflection of reality in that stuff, and the girls who went to watch it were not enjoying a moment of it but pretending to swoon over a man so determined to win his woman’s hand and so willing to brush aside shit tests.

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    • Replies: @Luke Lea

    That’s why in a thousand old Hollywood movies the girl is slapping the guy in reel one and they are getting married in the last reel.
     
    That's it. Women should start slapping again. And if that doesn't work, pick up a lamp.

    #bringbacktheslap

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  • In recent years, it has become not just acceptable but fashionable to rage against cisgender heterosexual white males as the cause of the world's shortcomings. Not surprisingly, this has now led Democratic Party affiliated institutions to carry out a purge of their cishet white males, many of whom indeed had it coming. But where will...
  • No, Trump is actually changing things, slowly but it is taking shape. I think he simply said to himself, this is foolish and I will stop it.

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  • @jon

    My wonder is if you will have gay men jealous of all the attention the Hollywood women are getting coming forward with their own accusations of abuse.
     
    So far, they seem to be keeping a lid on the gay and pedo sides of this. Just Spacey getting the boot and Corey naming a few people we already knew about so far.

    James Levine long time conductor of Metropolitan Opera.

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/12/two_former_students_accuse_con.html

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  • From the New York Times: James B. Stewart is the financial journalist who became mildly famous in the 1980s writing about Michael Milken et al, not the star of "It's a Wonderful Life." I read both books back in the day. They have had some influence on me. Part of the fun of watching “Junk”...
  • @Almost Missouri

    "If you can identify and explain the law Milken violated and the harm he caused it would be interesting, because in my view it was trumped up crap."
     
    I wondered that at the time and still wonder it now. Whether or not Milken's business was socially good or merely personally profitable can be debated, but the things that he was actually convicted of were obscure, esoteric and not momentous, though the fines and settlements he paid were obvious, public and weighty.

    On the other hand, Milken's legal and PR defenders never--that I could see--adequately separated him from Ivan Boesky, who ran a rather obviously illegal and parasitical operation, basically a professional insider trading firm. Rudy Giuliani and the SEC rightly lowered the boom on Boesky, who in turn somehow implicated Milken as though they were co-conspirators, even though Boesky's insider trading should have been anathema to Milken as Boesky's front-running of Milken's deals would have been driving up Milken's costs and snatching Milken's profits. So maybe there was more dirt than was publicly aired, and Milken pled to obscure crimes to avoid the scrutiny of something worse. So, who knows? I don't.

    Milken never put on a defense, he pled. The way I heard it the feds were coming after family members with major prison time, and once in the meat grinder they could put you anywhere including hellholes if they didn’t like you or the target you were unfortunately related to. There is no trial or due process regarding where you serve your time.

    RE: Boesky , that same partner said to me, after Milken, a client asked him how do I even know what is legal and not? He answered “if it involves suitcases of cash in an alley it might be illegal.” I think Boesky was alleged or convicted for acts that involved suitcases of cash exchanging hands in a back alley. Milken threatened powerful people, that was his crime.

    As for Giuliani, he launched his political career by creating the great white defendant. He took federal marshals on to trading floors and handcuffed Milken and others before their co-workers, with the press called in advance, some people cried before of their co-workers. These were people so connected to Manhattan with multi million dollar real estate and wives and kids in schools that you have to work for a generation to gain admission to that Giuliani could have sent them a text message to meet him at the station the next day and they would have shown up. The handcuffs and humiliation were pure show. I don’t know how he ever slept after crawling up to mayor that way. I guess in the big leagues you have to be strong.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Interesting, thanks.

    I know that there was never a trial. I was thinking more of Milken's PR push that has been more or less ongoing since the indictment and often involved his lawyer.

    Boesky is largely forgotten today, but at the time of Milken's indictment, Boesky was the poster boy for Wall Street corruption and excess. He was also pretty obviously guilty. By tying Boesky to Milken, the prosecutors made Milken guilty by association in the public's eyes, even though tying them together didn't make much sense since Boesky's insider trading reduced Milken's profits. That Milken's PR team didn't try to untie the toxic and illogical Boesky link made me wonder if there was more than met the eye to Milken's indictment.
    , @Art Deco
    As for Giuliani, he launched his political career by creating the great white defendant.

    That's an odd way to describe the Mafia commission and an odd way to describe Marc Rich.
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  • A client (corporate raider) of a partner I worked for was mentioned in one the Wall St porn novels of the era. I know, it is pretty weak authority. You can judge my view on whether it makes sense to you.

    Milken was not some sort of evil genius. During the go go years equity made much much more return than debt (like today). Many investors could not buy equity, investors like insurance companies, retirement funds, were limited by law to bonds and those investors were gigantic purchasers of financial instruments.

    Milken created junk bonds, legally bonds so anyone could buy them, even insurance companies, but in reality so crappy they were more like equity. During go go years to investors limited by law to bonds it looked like a super deal to get a taste of that sweet equity return (multiples of bond returns). After the bubble deflated it looked foolish and there were scapegoats to be found and destroyed. If you can identify and explain the law Milken violated and the harm he caused it would be interesting, because in my view it was trumped up crap. Did he defraud, lie, take money under false pretenses? I don;t think that was any part of the case against him. He was railroaded.

    Part of it, I suspect, was that junk bonds made it possible for upstarts to finance a takeover of sclerotic established companies. A raider backed by insurance and pension plan money could go in and take over Giant Sleepy Company with excessive private jets, and easily run the company better with less waste. Milken was involved in some way with lots of upsetting takeovers of very established former managers. I’m not surprised he ended up in jail on charges none of us would understand or be able to explain.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You can't pay the high interest on junk bonds by getting rid of a few private jets. You have to liquidate vast swathes of the company, lay off thousands of employees, etc.

    Because the junk bonds were frequently used to purchase equity and takeover companies, the insurance companies, retirement funds, etc, that were limited by law to bonds were effectively buying equities. It violated the spirit of the law.

    "Running the company better" for the raiders was measured by how much money they could squeeze out of companies to pay the high interest and make big profits for the raiders. This naturally involved liquidating assets and firing loads of people, not making newer, better products that compete on quality and price, since you can't do the latter while paying high interest and profits to the raiders in the short term. This violated the spirit of corporate America which had prevailed until then.
    , @Almost Missouri

    "If you can identify and explain the law Milken violated and the harm he caused it would be interesting, because in my view it was trumped up crap."
     
    I wondered that at the time and still wonder it now. Whether or not Milken's business was socially good or merely personally profitable can be debated, but the things that he was actually convicted of were obscure, esoteric and not momentous, though the fines and settlements he paid were obvious, public and weighty.

    On the other hand, Milken's legal and PR defenders never--that I could see--adequately separated him from Ivan Boesky, who ran a rather obviously illegal and parasitical operation, basically a professional insider trading firm. Rudy Giuliani and the SEC rightly lowered the boom on Boesky, who in turn somehow implicated Milken as though they were co-conspirators, even though Boesky's insider trading should have been anathema to Milken as Boesky's front-running of Milken's deals would have been driving up Milken's costs and snatching Milken's profits. So maybe there was more dirt than was publicly aired, and Milken pled to obscure crimes to avoid the scrutiny of something worse. So, who knows? I don't.
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  • For years, I've been mentioning the striking amount of space taken up in the brains of influential people by family memories of great-grandpa not being able to join the Los Angeles Country Club (so he had to join Jewish-only Hillcrest CC instead). The Los Angeles Country Club takes up something like 0.9 miles of both...
  • That’s interesting that lawyers are considered high status in LA. I sort of view then as not very rich because you cannot sell more hours than there are, and not very influential.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The social basis of LACC are the descendants of the real estate developers, bankers, and lawyers who made Southern California into a going concern from 1887 onward.
    , @Marty
    You really ought to read "Clients Against Lawyers," by former Cravath lawyer David Bazelon, Harper's Magazine 9/67. Will cost you $5 but well worth it.
    , @EdwardM
    The professional services business model is that higher-up people leverage lower-level people. Even if a partner is billing $1,000 per hour, the maximum he could bill is around $2.5M per year, meaning a net of maybe $1.5M-$2M at the extreme.

    But he has a team of junior- and mid-level people billing at $400 an hour who are not earning $600K-$800K per year. The average profits per partner at a white-shoe firm can be $3M+, meaning that some minority can make a good deal more than that.

    It's true that one can't attain a nine-figure net worth by law firm earnings alone under normal circumstances, but one isn't limited by the cap of 168 hours per week of one's own billable time.
    , @Jack D

    because you cannot sell more hours than there are,
     
    Old lawyer joke: Lawyer dies and goes to heaven (this is a joke, remember). He is personally greeted at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter and a large band of angels playing harps and singing hosannas. The lawyer says, "St. Peter it's nice that you give me this big greeting, but what did I do in life to deserve this? I was modestly successful but I really wasn't a big deal." And St. Peter replies, "My son, it is not often that we get a 120 year old man up here. The last one was Moses." And the lawyer says, "St. Peter, you must have the wrong man. I was only 78 when I passed away." And St. Peter replies, "No, no - you must have been 120 - we have your time sheets."
    , @Flip
    You sell the hours of the associates that you work to death.
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  • @Francis G.
    People will obsess over petty slights forever. Back when I was a college student, I went to the dentist for a check up. The bored, late-middle-aged hygienist made chit-chat and asked what I had been doing lately. As soon as I mentioned what uni I was attending, she grew very tense and angry. Her son, it turned out, had been rejected from that same uni 30 years earlier. It didn't matter that he had graduated with honors from a slightly less "prestigious" uni and gone on to have a very successful career as a physicist working for Lawrence Livermore Lab for the last 20 years. All she could talk about for the next half hour was how unfair it was that a piece of shit like me had been accepted while her precious son had been rejected by the same, vastly overrated uni. It was just pitiful how obsessed she was over something so meaningless. The fact that her son was far more successful than I was (and was making three or four times the money I was making) didn't begin to make up for the unforgivable insult of her boy being deemed unacceptable, eons ago, by a school that is rapidly becoming a national (if not a worldwide) joke.

    I am convinced that humans have been naturally selected to be perpetually dissatisfied with their lot in life, no matter how objectively and comparatively good they might actually have it.

    Still, some racial/ethnic groups seem much more prone to this tendency than others. I have noticed, for instance, that Jews and Indians (dots, not feathers) never stop whining about long-ago and rather trivial grievances.

    You managed to work your prestigious uni into bored chit-chat with a receptionist? Reminds me of Harvard alum who will never volunteer their Alma mater unless asked, and keep directing the conversation around until asked.

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    • Replies: @Francis G.
    Hygienist, not receptionist. She asked what I did. I said "Student". She asked "Where?". I told her. There then followed a bitter, half-hour harangue during which she had sharp, stabby instruments in my open mouth.
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  • From Buzzfeed: Taylor Swift’s Persona Is Not Built For 2017 In 2017, Swift is still absenting herself from the cultural conversation while simultaneously trying to center herself in it. Posted on November 10, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. Alanna Bennett BuzzFeed News Reporter Taylor Swift’s reputation is a complicated mess. ... Move over a little from...
  • Someone who writes this sort of stuff cannot actually believe what they are writing. I think it is a sort of s**t test to discover the response, in order to judge the fitness of the adversary more than anything else.

    Women have a dog’s instinct for rooting out weakness, and they are always very interested in whether their protectors or side is weak or strong.

    Did not Trump totally defuse an attack like this when Foxnews anchor repeated his quotes about women being fat, ugly, aggressive, by countering “only about Rosie O’Donnell”?

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    • Replies: @NOTA
    I suspect plenty of propogandists over the years have believed the nonsense they were writing, and this lady is likely no different.
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  • Following up my Taki's column on Larry David, "Curb Your Self-Awareness," here's a self-aware excerpt from a 2001 interview by Emma Forrest with Rachel Weisz, the lovely Oscar-winning Jewish-British actress:
  • @Flip
    I've always wondered why prostitution is illegal but acting in a porno movie is legal. In both cases, people are being paid to have sex.

    Read The Painter Bird. There is a woman character who is young and slightly crazy who will sleep with most men. The women of the town band together catch her and torture her.

    A market in sex undermines monogamous family structure. If some women are selling it other women will have a hard time finding a male provider for her and her children. I would guess part of the reason women have less power collectively in Japan is that prostitution is more accepted in Japan. Many religions condemn sex outside of a marriage probably for the same family strengthening purposes, no?

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    • Replies: @L Woods
    This is the correct answer, although I’d quibble a bit with the terms. They all “sell it.” Prostitutes simply sell it much cheaper. Hence, the visceral, histrionic opposition to legal prostitution.
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  • In the New York Times, David Itzkoff is not happy that Saturday Night Live has finally gotten around to joking about Harvey Weinstein and company:
  • @Anon 2
    The web tells us that Larry David's net worth (at least before
    his recent divorce) was $900 million, Jerry Seinfeld's -
    $920 million! Even if those figures are exaggerated (which
    I'm sure they are), those are obscene amounts of money.
    For TV actors (not even real actors) to be making that much
    moolah shows how our country's priorities are completely
    out of whack

    Our country does not have priorities regarding how people entertain themselves. Individuals do. I think it is silly for a baseball or football player to make 1,000 times my salary but that is just meaningless complaint. People want to see those shows and advertising permits those who attract eyes, or attention, of large groups of people to turn the attention into money. There is nothing wrong with people spending their time viewing something they enjoy.

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    • Replies: @Anon 2
    My argument is similar to that made by Neil Postman
    in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985).
    He argued that Huxley's Brave New World is more likely
    to be our future than Orwell's 1984. TV entertainment
    is our "soma," - people bliss out on entertainment while
    their rights are being taken away. But maybe there is hope -
    millions are pulling the plug on cable, refusing to be indoctrinated.
    Now that we have the Internet, the social media, and video games,
    Hollywood and New York media will be losing control over how people
    spend their leisure time. Television will never again be as
    important as in the '60s through the '90s. Entertainment
    is becoming decentralized
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  • @anonguy
    Oh, and one more thing.

    A belief that any women cooperated with or were ok with sexualized work environments is the moral equivalent to old time Southern canards about happy, contented slaves.

    Hate to say it but for an attractive woman to enter the workforce which is a s sexualized as all the rest of society it is not quite similar to the institution of slavery. As Judgybitch said

    There is a seemingly endless of supply of young women in possession of good looks and sumptuous bodies who prefer to trade their physicality for fame and fortune, rather than, say, acquire some sort of useful market skills.

    And so what?

    I have no problem with this at all. Virtually 100% of women, at some point in their lives, capitalize on their looks and appeal. From the barista at Starbucks to the cop in her just-a-little-too-tight uniform, women have always known, and understood how to use, their physical appeal to men.

    Tale as old as time.

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  • From the Gates Foundation: Well, that's what I've been saying about PISA and TIMSS scores for many years. Except ... Are there any other races of students in America than whites, Blac
  • Also, the chart shows Asians in the US perform worse than Asians in most Asian majority countries.

    Is that a condemnation of our educational system or the mix of people who are Asian in the US? or both?

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    In the past, Asian-Americans have scored the same or higher than the Japanese. (See 2012 Scores.)

    Two things may explain the relatively low scores for Asian-Americans in 2015. One, the 2015 exam was computerized and some countries performed better or worse than normal in the testing phase, so maybe Asian-Americans were affected too. Two, and the more likely, there was a sampling bias. Only a small number of kids actually take the PISA exam. If a higher than normal percentage of Asian-Americans tested were Hmong or some other low scoring group, then that would explain the poorer performance.
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  • From the New York Times: Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?
  • division all along the political spectrum

    That means the ads were as much ainti-Trump as Ainti-Hillary, meaning the Russians were not trying to help Trump get elected but were trying to increase divisions and dissatisfaction in general. Sort of kills the narrative.

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  • S. Peries: It's the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. A general consensus is emerging that Trump's tax plan, which he presented last Wednesday will benefit mostly the country's upper classes and corporations. In fact the only people that got a tax increase are the poorest taxpayers. A quick scan...
  • Scary to read the comments. I suspect part of the reason we are in decline is people have little understanding of capitalism so they are misunderstanding some of our problems.

    Corporations to not exist to provide jobs. No one wants a job. If you want a job, go volunteer at Goodwill, they have work for you to do, directions to follow, schedules for you to abide by. What you want is a money, and corporations exist to make money.

    Corporations make money in a free society by creating value – they consume some value, like employee’s labor, raw materials, machines, office space, etc. Then they sell the goods that they have created. A balance sheet accounts for all the value used up by the corporation and all the value people voluntarily gave it for the goods it produced. Hopefully the later number is larger than the former. That profit is value created by the enterprise.

    Spare me the bank that made bad loans bailed out by Uncle Sam, that is not an example of capitalism in any way; that is simply political pull. Don’t cough up the defense contractor, they are paid by government that gets its funds through threat of guns and jail time, and currency debasement.

    Most people cannot create much value. Most people rent their muscles and limited intelligence to someone else who can create value. Most people need a job to make a living. But corporations do not exist to provide jobs. That’s the role of a corporation in the USSR or Argentina and it is value destruction instead of value creation.

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    • Replies: @bomag

    Corporations make money in a free society by creating value
     
    If you believe this after experiencing modern corporate America as practiced, you may be too far gone to save.
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  • Slate's film critic realizes her entire worldview was a fraud: The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Is Changing How I Look at the Movies Just as the election challenged my perception of America, the past week has transformed my whole understanding of Hollywood. By Dana Stevens OCT. 13, 2017, 1:50 PM For the past week I’ve been...
  • The right is so ecstatic that a leftist got caught in this web that they are signing on to a process that is going to turn around and bite them big time.

    1. If a man is accused of rape or groping or unwanted advances arising to a crime, it is no longer “innocent until proven guilty.” You are not the accused, you are the slime ball.

    2. Standards of due process, burden of proof, presumption of innocence are thrown out to mob justice. The number of accusers determine guilt. Carefully scripted revelations over time to keep the public enthralled, repetition, media amplification, all determine guilt.

    3. The women never have to have their charges subjected to any examination.

    4. Employers and business associates are expected to shun someone accused, merely on the word of a woman in a he said she said situation when other progressive women pile on, often with charges that would be barred by a statue of limitations for very good reason. Statute of Limitations? We don’t need no Statute of Limitations, gringo.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    The right is so ecstatic that a leftist got caught in this web that they are signing on to a process that is going to turn around and bite them big time.
     
    Agreed. The right never learns. They're being played. Again.
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  • From Quentin Tarantino:
  • None of these women turned over their accusations to the criminal justice system.

    Instead they went to business associates of the accused or the press and said “he raped me.” Everyone is supposed to take their accusation as the honest truth. The guy’s boss is supposed to fire him. Does the employer hold a mini-trial with a right to be heard and attorneys on both sides or just execute the sentence after the woman complains?

    Maybe some of these women thought being sexually available was a good career move and later turned it into regret groping. Some girls have been known to hook up with popular jocks and later when it became clear he would not be a faithful companion decided it was assault. I think HW is not contesting these stories, but what do women want – the right to accuse someone of a crime with no participation of the criminal justice system, and the right to have the accused punished by business associates at their behest. It is the model of the SJW getting a politically incorrect person fired.

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  • In the New York Times, Tina Brown, who quit as editor of the New Yorker in the late 1990s to edit a start-up glossy magazine backed by Harvey Weinstein called Talk, explains a little about how The Narrative cake is baked: Harvey spent most of the hours of his working day ensuring that all the...
  • If a powerful man is offered sex by a foxy woman for providing to her what he can provide, why should he decline?

    If another production company offered him money for doing the same thing he would be expected to negotiate a deal.

    I think an offer of sex with a really sexy woman is a bigger incentive.

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  • From Quentin Tarantino:
  • I like the simple formulation of Thomas Szatz (parapharse)

    Most people behave like flies in a barn. After buzzing around briefly they go straight for the sex and power.

    Women have always traded sex for power and men have always sought power for sex. It is really strange that everyone is shocked, shocked.

    Its not just hollywood its wherever there are powerful men and sexy women.

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  • From Newsweek: WHITE MEN HAVE COMMITTED MORE MASS SHOOTINGS THAN ANY OTHER GROUP BY JOHN HALTIWANGER ON 10/2/17 AT 11:39 AM The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was shocking in its scale — but it wasn't a surprise that it was committed by a white male. Statistics show that since 1982, the majority of...
  • @Ali Choudhury
    There are probably fairly determined would-be killers in Canada, Australia, Europe and the UK. Local gun laws seem to have been effective in preventing mass shootings. Even jihadist nutters have to stick to knives, bombs and vehiculsr homicide apart from the Bataclan attack.

    There was an American pro-gun advocate on the BBC Today program this morning. He said strong gun control would not prevent people killing each other e g. the 911 murders were carried out by box cutter wielders. And there were daily incidents of people with guns preventing murders and crime which never made the news. Neither argument sounded particularly convincing. Plenty of deaths by suicide or accidents would probably be prevented if guns weren't as freely available. People are too screwed up to be trusted with them.

    They are not competent to own a dangerous object, but they are competent enough to vote for politicians and give them unlimited power over abortion, what portion of earnings everyone gets to keep, the monetary obligation of spouses to each other after a divorce, the health care system, interest rates, volume of money,purchase of troubled assets with taxpayer money, subsidies for housing and higher education, regulation of the telecommunications system and the internet, incurring unlimited public debt and basically every other aspect of my life.

    When the debt comes due and borrowing runs out, people who trusted in politicians instead of themselves will be facing real deprivation and wondering why.

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  • From First Things: IN PRAISE OF BORDERS by Peter Hitchens October 2017 Borders are a substitute used by less fortunate lands for the sea and the mountains behind which happier countries shelter. No great civilization has grown and endured except behind the shield of ocean, mountain, or desert. How different Poland’s history would be if...
  • Being surrounded by water didn’t do much for Ireland. France and Germany don’t benefit much from natural barriers. Still, he has a point. There used to be an old Russian saying that the two greatest generals of the US were named Atlantic and Pacific. Certainly Taiwan would be overwhelmed if it didn’t have watcr around it.

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    • Replies: @Romanian
    Of course, Ireland and Greece suffered from internal divisions which made one faction invite another across the natural border to gain some temporary advantage over their rivals. I think this strengthens the assertion that the natural borders are important. The Aetolian League invited the Romans in, and Dermot MacMurrough, the Irish King of Leinster, invited the Normans in to deal with a rival.
    , @Pat Boyle
    You are thinking of the Ireland of "The Quiet Man" not today's Ireland. Ireland is one of the richest nations on earth. As I remember it is currently the fourth in per capita income. It is richer by this measure than the US, Japan or Germany.
    , @RobertTS
    Ireland was rendered vulnerable not for reasons of Geography but because we were a collection of internecinal warring clans on a peripheral island of little interest to European polities throughout the Early to High Middle Ages, such that we weren't recognised as a polity. Indeed, our civilisation spanned both islands (some of our clans established a polity in a rump of Northern Britain, whence the name 'Scotland' (land of the Irish = 'Scotti'). Anyone who could establish de jure if not de facto control over this faraway land was not likely to provoke much jealousy or oppostion from the existing Continental kingdoms or principalities. The island of Ireland itself only became of covetous value when Henry II of England viewed us as a singular polity, and Pope Adrian IV recognised us as a kingdom - thus making it a worthwhile acquisition for an established if insignificant European power (England was a backwater in the 12th century). But for the vicissitudes of History, the Irish might well have established dominion over most of what is today named the British Isles.
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  • From the New York Times: What does "white-shoe firm" mean? Apparently, it comes from white bucks, which were shoes popular with young people in the Catcher in the Rye era. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the phrase "white-shoe college boys" back to J.D. Salinger's 1957 novel Franny and Zooey. These Brooks Brothers white bucks cost...
  • @Trash
    The wikipedia is partly correct. Back in the day (40's and 50's) law firms and investment banks in NYC were divided up by religion. Just like country clubs. There were WASPy firms (Cadwallader Wickersham & Taft), Jewish ones (Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelssohn) and Catholic ones (Donovan Leisure, founded by Wild Bill Donovan of OSS fame). Rather than the White Shoe ones being anti-semitic, it seemed like they all happier staying with their own. Same with investment banks: Morgan Stanley vs Goldman Sachs vs Cantor Fitzgerald (Cantor Fitz is a bank now, I think back then they were just bond traders).

    Mostly that's gone, but there may be traces. I bet you have a slight edge applying at Goldman today if you have a recognizably Jewish name, but again, slight. Even in the 80s they weren't overt about it, but there were cultural things. When I worked at Donovan a lot of guys had been in the Marines, and they all had their medals and ribbons framed on the wall. I doubt that was a thing at Proskauer. Or Donovan had the "tea ladies," who were OSS or military widows who would come around with a cart and bring you tea and cookies in the afternoon. That was Wild Bill's boondoggle to take care of his guys' widows while reminding everybody what was really important. Some people loved that culture, others not so much. There were Jewish guys at Donovan, but they were guys who were comfortable being around the other culture.

    And while there were culturally distinct firms, there were also ones that were mixes. Anderson Kill never had an identity like that.

    Rather than the White Shoe ones being anti-semitic, it seemed like they all happier staying with their own.

    It wasn’t just happier staying with their own. The WASP’s were here first and they built these . . . Institutions, powerful law firms, country clubs, summer home enclaves, banks.

    Newcomers like Catholics and Jews often did not have as much polish and were not welcome in those institutions. So the sharper newcomers built their own parallel institutions. When Lebanese Jews were unwelcome in the tonier NJ shore communities, they bought up Deal and turned it into a even more luxurious community. When Ridgewood, NJ excluded some, the richer of the some built Wyckoff.

    When my wife and I looked for a home in the Hamptons (known by me from summer shares with Wall St co-workers) the real estate agent showed us a barn and said there was nothing else on the market. There was exclusion and the natural reaction to exclusion was making you own.

    Wachtell Lipton (not white shoe) outdid Cravath in every way, in part by taking on takeover work. A proper WASP would never try to undermine a man’s livelihood just to make a buck. The buck in takeover work was so large, Scadden Arps (white shoe, counsel to Citicorp) became number two.

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  • @Johann Ricke

    If China really wanted to take Taiwan, they would just missile everything on the island immediately and then deploy troops;
     
    The US dropped 23,000 bombs on Serbia during the Balkan crisis. China probably doesn't have that number of missiles to shoot at Taiwan. Its aircraft will have serious difficulty overcoming Taiwan's Patriot batteries and F-16 squadrons. Even Chinese missiles will have to contend with Taiwan's SM-2 batteries. Taiwan is a harder nut to crack not just because of Taiwan's fairly late-model US hardware and 100 miles of Pacific Ocean the Chinese have to cross - the 800-lb gorilla is the combination of JASDF USN and USAF sitting in Japanese bases. Without air supremacy, Chinese ground forces would merely be fish in a barrel.

    A treaty seen as a national shame will never be acknowledged by the country, regardless of the government in place.
     
    The degree of "shame" depends on what the leaders choose to emphasize at any given time. Prior to the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, Korea occupied a place similar to Tibet as a tributary state. And yet the Koreas are independent of Chinese rule, mainly because of the Russian thumb on the scale - North Korea was considered a Soviet vassal much like the Warsaw Pact states, and South Korea was obviously an American protectorate. Similarly, Mongolia will remain independent only for as long as the Russians are there to keep the Chinese out.

    But extending from that, invading North Korea is pointless. Its not really part of the land that the Chinese have ever had much interest in acquiring.
     
    China has repeatedly invaded Korea. Its lack of success during the Sui dynasty led to that dynasty's fall. The Tang dynasty improved on that record, but was ultimately stopped by the Korean Shilla kingdom that had formerly allied with the Tang to destroy its Korean Korguryo rival.

    Ever since the oceans of blood spilled in its unification 2000 years ago, China's ruler has always been the richest man in his region, because he had control of the central plains and their massive productive populations, which typically outnumbered China's neighbors by at least 10 to 1. His military expeditions, typically to less developed areas, had little to do with acquiring wealth and everything to do with acquiring prestige, much as Napoleon obtained gloire in excess without even completing his conquests 2000 years later. Mao wasn't interested in material gain when he invaded remote and barren East Turkistan and Tibet - it was all about his place in the history books.

    As you implied with respect to Taiwan, it's all about the prestige. The pretext can be ginned up in advance of an invasion. In fact, that Chinese censors have been allowing criticisms of North Korea and Kim to be promulgated on the internet is probably a sign that they are getting ready to crank up Chinese popular support for an invasion when the moment arrives. I've spoken to Chinese emigres - pro-Mao zealots to a man - who received green cards through the serendipity of having been on US soil when the Tiananmen demonstrations were suppressed with gunfire, thanks to Bush pere. I've heard opinion to the effect that all of Korea would be Chinese today if it were not for the US, and that it wouldn't be a bad thing if that somehow came about.

    I once read that for Red China to take Taiwan, they would have to wade.

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  • @The Z Blog
    Ha. This is definitely a northeast term. You hear it with regards to law firms and financial houses, mostly. Maybe it used to mean WASP in the narrow sense, but today it means something closer to "deep state" or maybe ruling class.

    If you catch on at a white shoe firm out of law school, it means you have a chance to work with the ruling elite and possibly join them. White shoe firms always have offices in the power centers of the world and they take on the most important clients.

    I've never heard the term applied to VC shops. Even so, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is a local yokel, in the view of New York money. They may as well be working from a double wide in the Ozarks.

    Maybe Mx. Pao is guilty of cultural appropriation here.

    I have to disagree. No one achieves power by being a service person to the powerful. They know your place and expect you to.

    Even the greatest criminal defense lawyers, saving your bacon from the worst possible fate, are never welcomed into the circles of the powerful. Instead they are like cowboys. Independent, well compensated, slightly disreputable.

    Connected political individuals can get a lot of clients for a firm they move into. Think former attorney general of the US moving to a white shoe wall street law firm and bringing in the bucks. But good lawyer can be purchased for money.

    A lawyer who achieves public fame, like David Boise, maybe gets invited socially based on his fame. Like a famous chef or a famous doctor, but who ever would think that chefs and doctors are the deep state.

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  • @Trash
    The wikipedia is partly correct. Back in the day (40's and 50's) law firms and investment banks in NYC were divided up by religion. Just like country clubs. There were WASPy firms (Cadwallader Wickersham & Taft), Jewish ones (Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelssohn) and Catholic ones (Donovan Leisure, founded by Wild Bill Donovan of OSS fame). Rather than the White Shoe ones being anti-semitic, it seemed like they all happier staying with their own. Same with investment banks: Morgan Stanley vs Goldman Sachs vs Cantor Fitzgerald (Cantor Fitz is a bank now, I think back then they were just bond traders).

    Mostly that's gone, but there may be traces. I bet you have a slight edge applying at Goldman today if you have a recognizably Jewish name, but again, slight. Even in the 80s they weren't overt about it, but there were cultural things. When I worked at Donovan a lot of guys had been in the Marines, and they all had their medals and ribbons framed on the wall. I doubt that was a thing at Proskauer. Or Donovan had the "tea ladies," who were OSS or military widows who would come around with a cart and bring you tea and cookies in the afternoon. That was Wild Bill's boondoggle to take care of his guys' widows while reminding everybody what was really important. Some people loved that culture, others not so much. There were Jewish guys at Donovan, but they were guys who were comfortable being around the other culture.

    And while there were culturally distinct firms, there were also ones that were mixes. Anderson Kill never had an identity like that.

    So true. I worked for a white shoe firm, not so high flying as Cravath but very old school. They had free pastries Monday and Fri served on silver platters in the conference room. Breakfast ended at about 10:00 to keep people from slacking off near the weekend.

    Once they got you in there no one would dare go home before 9:00 pm

    Ethnic nepotism was pretty much gone by 1980. Being a Slavic / Pollack, I never wold have been considered earlier but by my time top half of class at a top law school or law review at almost any good law school got you in. Particularly in the go-go late 1980′s early 90′s

    I think the term refers to the bucks.From Wiki

    The Oxford English Dictionary cites the phrase “white-shoe college boys” in the J. D. Salinger novel Franny and Zooey (1957) as the first use of the term.

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  • From Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • Disagree. Stop and Frisk, which was essentially enforcing gun control, made the elite Manhattan playground very safe. There is much less gun control in most red states.

    That is not to say the elite don’t hate guns in red states, they hate it on various principles such as mistrust of the individual, hatred of independence, subjugation of the individual to the collective, etc.

    God created Man, and Mr. Colt made them all equal. The elite hate actual equality in any form.

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  • One reason Donald Trump won the election is the increasingly gratuitous usage among white elites of the word "white" as an insult. For example, in the New York Times today, Jennifer Senior approvingly quotes Hillary Clinton's new book: Why exactly did Hillary insert "white" before "authoritarian" in that sentence? Apparently, Hillary perceives "white authoritarian" to...
  • Hate to even say this because it sounds so racist, but isn’t anyone old enough to remember the phrase “That’s mighty white of you?” You can hear it in older movies and radio programs.

    From the OED (the 1919 version, which can hardly be considered susceptible to PC):

    white a.
    4.b. slang or colloq. (by extension from WHITE MAN 3; orig. U.S.) Honourable; square-dealing. Also as adv

    white man
    2.b. orig. U.S. slang. A man of honourable character such as one associates with a European (as distinguished from a negro): see WHITE a. 4 b

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  • The biggest Houston flood I was in when I was at Rice U. was April 18, 1979. Up to 17" fell on the Houston area all at once. This wasn't a hurricane, which at least gives advanced notice that trouble is coming. It just suddenly rained like crazy during rush hour. Six-lane Main Street next...
  • I think Houston is cheaper because the government parasites haven’t been around as long to overcome the natural defenses of the host.

    Last time I was in Phoenix they were having a big vote on a state income tax. I suspect that if it was unsuccessful they will just keep having such votes until they get one and then it will be forever.

    The ratchet left is not just a ratchet towards more leftist policies, it is everywhere and always a ratchet towards more force supplanting voluntary decisions. When we get Social Security, you go to jail if you don’t contribute to your retirement, Obamacare and you are fined if you do not buy approved insurance, welfare/charity provided by the State – handcuffs if you do not contribute your share, etc.

    In addition to taxes, there are a million govt actions making it more expensive to live in California or New Jersey than in Texas. I don’t think it is just the price of land.

    It is natural for force to win over voluntary cooperation and reason.

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    • Replies: @AM

    In addition to taxes, there are a million govt actions making it more expensive to live in California or New Jersey than in Texas. I don’t think it is just the price of land.
     
    Very much agreed. Blue states have a culture that has spilled over into the development regulations that makes land expensive and development difficult.

    I'm in a transplant suburb in the cheap south. My across the way neighbors from New Jersey keep fretting about how developers take down nearby scrub tress from old, over grown farmland to build track housing. And my response (now repeated), politely, is that people need houses to live in and it's okay - there are plenty of trees and land even still. The area has lightly regulated development and it's almost perfect in creating planning and cheap housing. (And that was part of the reason they came themselves.)

    We left VT in large part because of environmental regulation. VT is not running out of land and still in fact one of the most rural places in the nation. But since about the late 19th century, various wealthy urbanites wished to put a dome over it. ("Quaint" is quite the curse.) In the 1970's, they succeeded via Act 250. Now cheap track housing from 1960 will cost a fortune compared to the local wage base. It's not as dramatic as CA, but the gap is there.

    Right before we left, one of the large last family farms on the commute to the Burlington area was going to be sold for development as housing. Please keep in mind, I had never seen the land worked and I passed this parcel of land for decades as I grew up. Somebody hayed the fields to prevent too many trees and that was it. No animals, etc.

    But there in the headlines: "neighbors fight development of farm". It wasn't a farm, it wasn't going to back to being a farm, and the land was just sitting there with grass on it. (It's not like you could hunt there either.) The neighbors just plain old didn't want more ticky tacky houses in "their" rural space, even though the land belonged to someone else and people needed houses. Right before I left, there were people protesting building a half decent small, grocery story in a rural upscale area. (No, I'm not kidding.) It took over a decade for Wal-Mart to make it a VT community that usually would have had one in a heart beat.

    In other words, blue states have created a feedback cycle dating from at least the 1970's of creating a society that's bluer via government regulation and taxes. Blue state conservatives head for other places (and usually adjust well) because they focus on family and humanity, rather than the environment. (Christianity is a huge help in staying focused on people. The blue areas were well on their way to losing that aspect of their culture in the 1960's.)

    If you think your virtue rests in preserving the land, rather than in loving people, then you get a few children late (maybe) and hissy fits about buildings and then expensive housing, reinforcing the cycle. To those with a deep Christian mindset, the land is for us to steward and use, not keep idle while people scramble for housing. Thus larger families, soon, and with an emphasis on regulations that allow and encourage building.
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  • From the New York Times: Okay ... "cried among the farmland." ... Possible alternatives: "cried among the crops." "sobbed among the succotash." "blubbered all over the beets." "sniveled about the terrain." "eyeless in Gaza." It is, of course, unfair to judge an entire county with a population of almost 200,000 on the behavior of one...
  • @Clem
    Breaking some kid's balls about having a funny name when he's stuck at your house is a mildly assholish thing to do. Nine out of ten small-town Americans would agree. Imagine it was a Polish name, if you find it hard to see the issue. Stuff like that doesn't happen much any more and I'm glad it doesn't. I agree it's not worth dwelling on, though.

    One of my schoolmates was named Lewis Wiener. I once asked him if he ever thought of changing his name to avoid the teasing. He said: “My father was a better man than I am. I am proud to have his name.”

    That’s a better attitude.

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    • Replies: @Malcolm X-Lax
    Yeah, but not if your father's first name is Anthony.
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  • Commenter Irish Paleo responds to the NYT article on how blacks and Latinos haven't made any progress relative to their numbers at winning admission to elite colleges since 1980. The broadly stable representation of blacks and Hispanics in elite colleges since 1980 and the failure in the 37 years since to replicate the relatively impressive...
  • @Lot
    It is looking like the search for IQ genes will be pretty disappointing in the end. Instead it is looking like each higher IQ gene is nearly universal, and the lower IQ varients come from random mutations, ie genetic load.

    I suspect that intelligence and the machinery of the brain are analogous to the program and the TV set.

    i.e. a TV repairman can do noting for you if you don’t like the shows. If your TV is not working right, the shows will be even worse to watch.

    I don’t have any idea what creates high intellect, but it is possible it is not just better pipes in brain structure. High intellect runs in families but so does speaking French. Descartes had a point the mind is vastly different from the brain.

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  • An NYT editorial on how ho-hum the latest jihadi massacre of 13, including one American, in Barcelona should appear to you if you are a good-thinker: Ho hum. But whaddaya whaddaya ... Can we get back to hyperventilating over Charlottesville, please? We who have relentlessly backed Muslim immigration aren't the bad guys, we are the...
  • @Daniel Chieh
    That's not exactly it, though.

    Its a demonstration of power. Right now, they are demonstrating nakedly that they can destroy your lives and silence you from even speaking with the like-minded if they wish. And it looks like they will succeed.

    If somehow the various WN movements, etc manage to not get destroyed and still manage to communicate on a basic level, then that survival would be a victory. Right now, its not certain.

    But its plainly a display of power. Unfortunately, so far, it looks like they really do have all of the institutions and all of the technology on their side. With the exception of Gab, the Right has been too complacent on resting on the technologies of a hostile force.

    But its plainly a display of power. Unfortunately, so far, it looks like they really do have all of the institutions and all of the technology on their side. With the exception of Gab, the Right has been too complacent on resting on the technologies of a hostile force.

    I think that we have a few companies presently enjoying the benefit of network effect (which defends them from competition), destroying the value of their product. Already freer alternatives are springing up and gaining users.

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  • Via Buzzfeed, here is Apple CEO Tim Cook's memo: That's why I deserved to be compensated $373 million for my labor in 2015 and you didn't: because I believe in equality. Therefore, people I disagree with politically should have no civil rights. They should be outlaws subjected to any violence that people who agree with...
  • @27 year old

    I do think it is time now for anyone who is evrn vaguely right to align together now. None of us will survive if we allow the giants to break us apart one by one.
     
    The Charlottesville rally was called "unite the right" - for this exact reason.

    Like them or not, non-ironic nazis are part of "the right". The enemy won't stop once they are done with the Anglins and the NSMs, they will immediately move the crosshairs left onto the next most extreme group.

    I disagree that Nazi’s are part of the right.

    1. Nazi is a socialist ideology. The historical US was founded on the ideals of the enlightenment particularly Lock: rights to life, liberty and (private) property. Socialism is not concerned with liberty at all, it is organized use of force for the greater good/equality. The right of contract is is the Constitution. The national government was severely hobbled in the Constitution.

    2. Nazi’s share with the right exactly one characteristic: nationalism. Most socialism is international focused instead of nation focused. Yet the early US was a weak confederation of states, not one strong nation. People could move freely among the states to join one of their choosing at any time. So even if you viewed the States as Nations, the people had thirteen competing nations to choose from and the nation you were born and raised in had no more claim to you than the state you moved to.

    3. Nazi’s are collectivists, the US right was individualistic. The US right is more individualistic than the US left. St. Reagan talked about unleashing the individual. The left never talks about that.

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  • From Littler Insight: As far as I know, Damore didn't email his essay, he posted it on one of Google's multitudinous discussion groups. But it's hard to see a difference. Matt Bruenig writes: ... under current NLRB law, the Google Guy has a good chance of being reinstated for the following reasons: The Google Guy...
  • @Anonymous
    So, does Sailer actually believe it should be illegal for private firms to fire anyone based on public statements of opinion? That would be news.

    Would that hold for any opinions at all or just the ones he approves as correct? i.e. with judgments meted out by a sort of a National Sphere Opinions Regulation Board

    Of course an employer should be able to fire an employee for any reason at all. It should be a voluntary relationship on both sides. I should be able to fire any employee who tries to destroy the value of my company by organizing a union.

    Still there might be a case of promissory estoppel here if Google asked for honest opinions on a matter and then fired someone for giving his opinion. Promissory estopple is a legal principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration, when a promisor has made a promise to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment.

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    • Replies: @James Richard
    Indeed employment should be "at will" and indeed it is statutory in almost every state but unfortunately you are ignoring the *** last 75 years*** or so of labor law which has over-ridden this principle in many, many areas.
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  • From Recode: I think you'll be hearing a lot over the next few days about how the almighty alt-right is punching down at poor oppressed little Google. For example, from the New York Times: Who exactly has been punching whom the most -- the Alt-Right or the Ctrl-Left -- might seem the more central unasked...
  • @Goolag
    "You work at Google?"

    "Yeah"

    "What's it like?"

    "Can't complain"

    priceless.

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  • David Brooks writes in the New York Times: Judging from this clip, Principal Skinner would appear to have what it takes to be the frontrunner for the job. Seriously, is there an Inner Party that actually understands itself? Is there really a Mustapha Mond such as at the end of “Brave New World” or an...
  • @Achmed E. Newman
    Freakin' awesome clip there. I guess I could watch a little TV, if I knew this would come on (Also, if I could full-mute the commericals - sound AND sight).

    Assistant-groundskeeper (or assistant to the groundskeeper, ya PUKE!) Skinner:

    "I don't have any opinions anymore. All I know is that no one is better than everyone else, and everyone is the best at everything."

    That's the way to keep your job for the average employee. Things would be quite a bit better if men wouldn't spend their whole lives in hock. Imagine if you had a year or two savings and/or coupla rental houses, what they call "fuck you money". That's still fairly easy to get to for a single guy.

    Imagine owning a business with no boss. Hard work, yes, but no boss other than snooping government agencies. That's why the elites HATE, HATE, HATE (TM - Whiskey) small business!

    Imagine owning a business with no boss. Hard work, yes, but no boss other than snooping government agencies. That’s why the elites HATE, HATE, HATE (TM – Whiskey) small business!

    Exactly. Small business is freedom. I wonder why Republicans don’t punish their enemies as Democrats do. When GM went into bankruptcy, Obama used it as an excuse to close down GM car dealerships in small towns across the country. Car dealers are conservative because they have to meet a payroll and control costs. Yet with control of all three branches the Repubs do nothing to hobble academia, state bureaucracy, legacy media.

    Maybe the tax plan will end Federal deduction of State income taxes – that would hit me in the bank account but stop states like NY FLA and CA from spending the money of more sensible Americans in the heartland.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's not easy to say how it should all be counted, but so much wealth is concentrated on the coasts with their financial and hi tech industries and so much Fed gov spending is concentrated in rural states where there are big army bases, etc. that it appears as if (even with the deduction for state income taxes (FLA has no state income tax BTW) that NY and CA send more to DC than they get back.
    , @Bill
    You know car dealerships only exist because of state regulation, right?
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  • And here's the transcript.
  • @AndrewR
    Groupthink and mass intellectual dishonesty are human traits and not exclusive to one era or group. If the people who frequent this blog were power elites instead of powerless dissidents, we would see the same sort of silencing, mobbing, censorship, etc. Just for different topics, obviously. This is why I'm a misanthrope. Every human group is awful.

    If you become self-employed, live in a country with a 1st Amendment that is taken seriously and live in a must issue concealed carry state, you can pretty much say what you want.

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  • On CNBC, a California employment lawyer writes: It wasn't exactly a memo, it was an essay posted on an internal company discussion board. Dan Eaton | @DanEatonlaw ... Many inside and outside of Google have called for the man's dismissal. However, there are at least three ways the law may keep the company from imposing...
  • I agree he lawyered up before writing the memo. So why did he write it?

    He had a smart lawyer. Someone with some experience in the world would know the facts he cited are true, most women don’t want to code. Google’s programs are not designed to increase the number of women in their coding positions. The programs serve another purpose and the facts cited in his memo are irrelevant to the reasons for the policies.

    Rev Bacon in Bonfire agitated for more waiter jobs in high class NYC restaurants for his musclemen. They did not want to work as waiters, the Rev did not want to get them jobs. It was a shakedown operation.

    Women’s advocates want to shakedown Google into funding programs for women, which will be run by advocates for women, who will pay themselves and their friends with the funds provided by Google.

    But still, why did he write the memo? It won’t stop or slow down the shakedown. Was he just being clock boy? Recognizing that writing such a thing would metaphorically cause the police to come and handcuff him and then a big payoff?

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  • From Bloomberg: Ex-Google employee James Damore was a doctoral student in Systems Biology at Harvard before being hired by Google. Obviously, he is ignorant about what Science says about males and females and should try reading a book for once in his life. LOL!! [UPDATE: I'm now not sure if he completed his Ph.D. at...
  • @Ivy
    One truism for clients is that the attorney may deal with you once but he has to deal with opposing counsel a lot over the years, and might end up being co-counsel with them. Such considerations can influence their motivation, notwithstanding their oath. I've had to fire attorneys who didn't pay adequate attention.

    It is equally true that opposing counsel has to deal with your lawyer a lot over the years. I think you are expressing unfounded paranoia. I mean, each lawyer is rolling over to get along with the opposing counsel?

    Having a terrible loss record is not the way to get big clients.

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    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    It is equally true that opposing counsel has to deal with your lawyer a lot over the years. I think you are expressing unfounded paranoia. I mean, each lawyer is rolling over to get along with the opposing counsel?
     
    Yeah, the rolling over bit is nonsense.

    What you get with lawyers who know and trust one another is more bilateral reasonable conduct, which means fewer guerrilla litigation tactics and a more sober take on the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case. This is a good way to save money as a party litigant.
    , @Ivy
    Who said anything about each lawyer rolling over? The results include not just cases won or lost but the little details that may water down what could be called a win.

    As a fiduciary, I probably took a harder line, but I suppose that one man's diligence could be another's paranoia. For example, I wasn't willing to let a national firm's partner off the hook when he was willing to just chalk gaffes up to "Lesson learned about xyz counsel". We used engagement management for good reasons as relationships need to be looked at periodically and systematically.
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  • The market capitalization of Google (now Alphabet) is currently $643 billion. That's rather a lot, so it's hardly surprising that many social justice jihadis are constantly scheming to appropriate a tiny sliver of a slice of that pie for themselves. From The Atlantic: "Rotten core" suggests that the headline writer at The Atlantic is a...
  • @Anonymous
    In a previous life I spent weeks looking through maybe 100 bankers boxes of Apple documents in the Apple v. Microsoft "look-and-feel" lawsuit. My job was to digest and summarize each document for use in litigation.

    There were two documents I remember. One was the two page (!) Apple Microsoft license agreement for the Macintosh interface. The other was a whiny, put-upon email from the girl who was leading the Mac development. Her email was a pissy little screed to Steve Jobs, complaining about how Steve and the "boys" had gone off on some kind of boys weekend trip, some kind of frat party in the mountains to rethink the Macintosh after having seen the Xerox Parc goodies (mouse, windows, etc.). They had the utter gall not to invite the Mac team (or at least not her) and then trooped back like Moses off the mountain, gutted all the work that she and her buds had been working on, and ordered everyone to go to work on their totally new and untested ideas. It was so unfair! So inconsiderate!

    It reeked of schoolmarmish frustration at lads who just wouldn't act right. The Google girls have a similar contempt for male genius ... only now the girls have the upper hand.

    Unlucky of Apple to get an unethical lawyer.

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  • From Fox Business: Here's my suggestion for a simple rule for anti-trust (that's American for anti-cartel): the top two firms in an industry, like Busch and Miller or Exxon and Mobil merging into ExxonMobil back during the Clinton Administration, wouldn't be allowed to merge. So, for example, under my extremist new idea, Coke and Pepsi...
  • @Alec Leamas
    My great grandfather owned and operated a tap room in South Philadelphia primarily patronized by longshoremen. I think the popularity of the American light lager* probably owes a lot to the dominance of German beer-making traditions and the preferences of working men who preferred something light and ice cold after long days working outside in the sun. You just don't spend 10 hours tarring roofs in July and think "gee, I could really go for a milk stout with coffee and cocoa notes to savor from a goblet for an hour right now." It's more "craving a half dozen of American style light lagers in a frosty mug to tie a quick one on before getting home to the old lady sort of thing."

    *In those days the big seller was Ortlieb's

    Candidly, I find most craft beers unnecessarily complicated and pretentious rather than something "crafted" to be enjoyed as beer.

    I will say, after hard physical exercise/work, a cold beer is fantastic. On one vacation I was cycling and after six hours on the road hot, hungry and dry, a cold beer was the best thing in the world. I suddenly appreciated beer commercials with steel workers getting off work and quaffing a few.

    Once dated a physical trainer and when she got off work and we would meet for a drink it was a beer for her and she obviously relished it.

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  • The government does not mind that it is a monopoly, i.e., one federal authority instead of multiple State authorities that citizens can choose among.

    The government likewise does not care if there is only one bank, one hospital chain or one automobile manufacturer in the country, as long as it can through laws and regulations control the business as fully as if it were another branch of the government.

    As a matter of fact, one giant hospital chain or one giant financial institution will have whole departments dedicated to reporting to the government and enforcing complex government edicts, while a million individual doctors in small private practices probably can’t even keep up with what is required.

    If you get a summer internship at GE they are going to report every cent you earn and dot every i. If you work for the local independent grocery for a summer they might pay you in cash.

    One neck, one yoke.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    In some enterprises, it's impractical to have competition, such as with utilities. You're not going to have water mains from multiple different water utilities running under the same town. So utilities are more heavily regulated (in how much they can charge, etc.) than other kinds of companies.
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  • From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: We musk keep our priorities straight. As Governor Dayton, whose great-grandfather founded the Target store chain and whose wife is a Rockefeller, so eloquently explained in 2015: “Our economy cannot expand based on white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens. We don’t have enough,” Dayton said.
  • @anon
    Sad but true. When I look at a country's GDP, I am more interested in the per capita GDP. There is an incredible lack of nuance regarding quality and growth.

    Hope he still has an ownership interest in Target. They are taking a drubbing like retail in general. Plus they generated a lot of ill will by their politically progressive bathroom policy and are the subject of boycotts.

    absolutely. If I ever hear another politician say to get GDP growth we need more people. Who cares about GDP growth other than the owners and heads of large public companies? For them GDP growth means they have a larger top line (sales) and beat expectations and, because of irrationality in the marketplace, the value of their enterprise goes up as if they are a rapidly growing company. In actuality they are sticks in the mud but everything is going up.

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  • Donald Trump, Warsaw, July 6, 2017 Commenter martin2 writes: A lot of people don’t appreciate the extent to which intellectual jealousy affects non-white attitudes. I didn’t… I was teaching an almost entirely non-white class many years ago on “Research Methods”, – elementary statistics mainly. But I included an essay type question that had to do...
  • @Pericles
    Paul Vixie seems to be alive though?

    Sorry, John Postel. His attorney continued participating in the meetings restructuring governance of the Internet even though his client died.

    I cannot find the article. My memory may be all wrong, in which case I am due for a formal retraction.

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  • @Anonymous
    I met Vint Cerf in an airport once. He was so gracious and humble. He was genuinely surprised that I recognized him.

    Btw, you can also list the founders of higher mathematics: Laplace, Lagrange, Cauchy, Pascal, Fourier, Descartes, Gauss, Fermat, Galois, Poincare, ... (all gentiles btw).

    I read that when internet governance was being turned piecemeal over to international agencies (such as ICANN) Paul Vixie was participating and he had a white shoe wall st law firm representing him.

    Then Paul died and the next meeting, the lawyer arrived and tried to participate. Someone asked “who are you representing here?” Unfortunately, the firm kept its fingers in the process, apparently a principleless agent. More likely the other clients of the firm all had great interest in the future of net governance. Such decadence in USA.

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    • Replies: @Pericles
    Paul Vixie seems to be alive though?
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  • @Anonymous
    I met Vint Cerf in an airport once. He was so gracious and humble. He was genuinely surprised that I recognized him.

    Btw, you can also list the founders of higher mathematics: Laplace, Lagrange, Cauchy, Pascal, Fourier, Descartes, Gauss, Fermat, Galois, Poincare, ... (all gentiles btw).

    I was an early ISP owner. Everything was new and people shared help freely over mailing lists and USENET newsgroups. Once I posted a question and Paul Vixie answered.

    It was like throwing out a question about law and having Antonin Scalia answer.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Hell, I think it's crazy Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire interact with us. I've met super duper famous, ostensible titans of Sili Valley most people would probably be impressed by meeting, but they are decidedly pedestrian, uninteresting, and uninspired people; transparently smug and flashy salesmen at best. Increasingly, the truly impressive people are unassuming and unacknowledged by society at large;
    I expect it is yet another indicator of civilisational waning.
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  • From Jezebel: As I explained in 2009 in "Sailer's Law of Female Journalism:" In case you were wonde
  • @Polynikes
    "I would really like to date her. "

    Good Lord...how desperate could you get? If you're that hard up you should go for a sane chubby chick over that psychotic skelator.

    I don’t take a girl’s hobbies seriously.

    Her feminism is a hobby, her real interest is probably men.

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  • I would really like to date her. She is not obese, nor old. Of course she would not view me as a good match, but she is clearly above 80-90% of what I see on the street.

    Did you ever notice that in any social gathering there are only about one, two, or three women as attractive as her? Its like a desert. I wonder if the women feel the same looking over the male prospects.

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    • Replies: @Polynikes
    "I would really like to date her. "

    Good Lord...how desperate could you get? If you're that hard up you should go for a sane chubby chick over that psychotic skelator.
    , @David Frum Jr.
    Well, given that 80% of American women anymore are overweight, it is a pretty barren wasteland of females out there for those of us who aren't into flab.

    I'm a white man who has somewhat reluctantly been dating some Asian women recently because white women can't put down the fork.
    , @MBlanc46
    They ro, indeed. There's empirical evidence that women find only 20% of men above average.
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  • From The Atlantic (whose name, by the way, needs to be changed because it invokes the hateful, discriminatory white nationalist concept of "the West"): The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump's Warsaw Speech When the president says being Western is the essence of America’s identity, he’s in part defining America in opposition to some of...
  • I love that movie clip. There is no Nation, there is only IBM, ITT, AT$T and Dow

    Only guess what: IBM, AT&T and Dow Chemical are little struggling companies and ITT is gone.. Google, Facebook Amazon and Netflix are giants.

    If they were so powerful and ran everything, why did they go extinct and be replaced by other companies run by other people. Other CEO’s and other executives and other stockholders get their money, fly in the private jets, date the best women.

    Capitalism is the one true meritocracy, and the only thing that wins merit is to satisfy the customer, meaning you. And when google disappoints you, it will be a memory. Unless we get more crony capitalism the way banks and health care are government subsidiaries and impervious to competition.

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    • Replies: @Difference Maker
    They don't date the best women
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  • From the Northridge [CA] Patch:
  • @E. Rekshun
    A little black man with a weird cast on his leg picks me out of the dozen other guys in line (no doubt because I was the richest-looking, best-dressed, handsomest man there, but I digress…I handed him a twenty dollar bill and shouted, “Now get the fuck out of here!”

    I've never given to panhandlers. Except for one occasion about a year ago, during lunchtime, walking out of a 7-11 on the border of a black area and a college area. I, too, was well-dressed, rich-looking, and handsome. A very thuggish mid-20s black male walked up toward me showing is dual arm tattoos - "Time Served!" I had six inches on him, but he was built like a fire hydrant, very muscular and menacing. I didn't let him get w/i 15 feet and he didn't try to get too close. As I was walking toward my car he began his pitch for a handout. I continued to ignore him until he got to the part where he "couldn't even by food for his kids." At that point he sounded pathetic and weak. I foolishly pulled a $5 bill out of my wallet and handed it across the hood of the car, and he left w/ a smile on his face. Oddly, he got into a car w/ a black female that had been behind me in line at the cash register. I think she signaled to him to make a move on me. I think I was strong-armed out of $5.

    I also have stopped giving to charities that claim to help minorities. I only donate to people I know or those who do things for people like me.

    I only write one $100 check to the United Way when my employer runs its annual solicitation drive.

    United Way?

    let its president spend $92,265 on chauffeured limousines and $40,762 on Concorde flights to Europe over three-year periods. Investigators say William Aramony apparently used United Way of America money to pay for much of what they called his “lavish lifestyle.“ In addition to his $390,000 salary plus $73,000 in other compensation, he helped himself to a disgrace of other perks. For example, his UWA expenses included $33,650 for air fare to or through Gainesville, Fla., the home of a close female friend, from 1988 to 1990.

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  • From The New Yorker, an interesting self-portrait of growing up Jewish and American in mid-Century America by Philip Roth, author of Portnoy's Complaint and American Pastoral. Roth is one of the survivors from a generation formed before the Sixties and before the subsequent rise of globalism, along with Woody Allen, Ralph Lauren, and, perhaps, Bob...
  • @Anonymouse
    "It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition."

    Not a fake memory at all. Corperations, 3 letter companies, the phone company, Con Edison, white-shoe law firms, before 1945 did not hire jews. I grew up in those years and that fact was widely known. Resorts did not admit jewish guests, giving rise to the jewish resorts in the Catskills. Real-estate convenants barring sales to jews were legal. Also hard to get into medical schools which had a quota system strictly limiting jews for admission (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians). Descrimination against jews decreased radically after WW II which I imagine was connected somehow to the revelation of Nazi crimes.

    people of polish ancestry, slaves, Laps, Hungarians, Yugoslavians, Italians (sometimes collectively called Displaced Persons or DP’s) were also excluded from many of the tonier institutions in America. That has pretty much disappeared now, but we could always dwell on it endlessly.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.
    , @bored identity
    Perpetual RetcongnitiveDissonace is the last resort of Weimerica's echo-chambering owners.

    Besides Catskills and Tdzak D's attic , of course.

    https://youtu.be/4ColUyHplX8?t=41s
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  • From the NYT: I suspect one reason new car sales were so high in 2015-16 is because a lot of guys figured that if they bought a new car they could afford the payments by driving for Uber part-time.
  • @YIH
    ''I suspect one reason new car sales were so high in 2015-16 is because a lot of guys figured that if they bought a new car they could afford the payments by driving for Uber part-time.''
    Check your car insurance policy, look for ''driving for hire''. Have a chat with your insurance company about Uber (or Lyft) https://infogalactic.com/info/Insurance_fraud

    When uber started I said to myself, this is so illegal. They had real guts to roll out and deal with the fallout afterwards. It also worked out pretty well.

    The most your insurance company can do is not cover you when you drive “for hire” They can’t call the airport police and drag you out of your car.

    I believe uber and lift dealt with this by buying fleet policies that cover their drivers to the extent that the driver’s policy does not cover. Of course in the beginning this was not so and many uber drivers were illegally driving uninsured vehicles, but then so do many poor people and lawn workers.

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  • What Richard Nixon and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Harvard professor of government and education, who had been his chief domestic policy adviser in 1969-70, are discussing in this October 1971 Watergate Tape is the revolution in the social sciences of the previous 5 years, beginning with the federally funded Coleman Report in 1966. Paid for...
  • @grey enlightenment2
    (and for all the contempt that lawyers are held in, the law requires considerable intellect). If Nixon had not gone down in disgrace, then like Taft he would have made a great Supreme Court justice.

    yes, great intellects like Sotomayor and Kagen

    Sotomayor and Kagen did not get their SCOTUS appointments on legal merit. The whole thing is political because the Court is now an institution of politics, not law.

    I did fairly average academically in most fields but when I discovered the LSAT I was suddenly a top performer. In law school also. It is not a particularly intellectual undertaking.

    What law requires is abstraction of significant “elements” from the Hodgepodge of experience. The rule may be ” battery is an unprivileged offensive touching of another”. The classic law school examination will lard up a factual situation with emotional incidentals. A man is getting on a crowded subway car and, in his hurry, brushes firmly up against the breasts of a women near the door. She confronts him and slaps him. Analyse the causes of action each party may have. There is a lot of emotion here but very straight facts. Do you “feel” for the guy or for the woman? Not relevant to the legal analysis.

    (Please do not say no one would make a legal case out of a subway incident, you are thinking in particulars again. The issue is did a battery occur under the legal standards, not should/would someone sue, and there is a fairly clear and certain answer under law, which is one of its charms.)

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  • From Fox News: The causal relationship between the Black Lives Matter movement and the 29% rise in homicides between 2014 and 2016 in the 30 biggest cities is one of the most prima facie obvious things I've seen in 45 years of following social statistics.
  • @eah
    Collapse

    What is collapsing?

    To look at it another way: without a constant heavy and active police presence, ghetto savages wantonly slaughter each other -- and the national media either barely notices or engages in active suppression and censorship -- because that reality is absolutely inexplicable, and therefore way too uncomfortable.

    It's a kind of ghetto entropy.

    I feel sorry for the hospital trauma crews who have to try to put these pieces of shit back together -- that's about the only emotion I have about it -- I can't even blame Obama with any conviction.

    I think the trauma teams have a realistic view of it all. If you ever google emergency room slang it is a red pill as possible, you dirtbag GOMER.

    My daughter wants to be a surgeon and she says Newark is better than New Brunswick (of the two NJ med school hospitals) because there is lots of experience for students with shot up patients.

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  • Commenter Jack D writes: The irony here is that this was not a United flight at all. This was a “United Express” flight that is run under contract with Republic Airline. United saves $ by having its shorter /lower capacity “commuter” flights operated under contract by Republic who pays its pilots bubkes. The pilot business...
  • In many cases there are competing claims of right. The many comments blaming United and the many others blaming the doctor illustrate that.

    On an aircraft about to take off or in flight, there must be someone who can “dispatch” such claims without anyone resorting to force. This is a mater of safety. If the airline prints two tickets for the same seat by mistake you cannot have two people fighting over the seat in the aircraft, no matter who was at fault or how bad the negligence that created the situation. The person sitting could rightfully refuse to vacate the seat, the person standing over his shoulder could rightfully refuse to clear the isle until seated. Someone has to decide in order to travel on in safely, and that has to be the captain. It does not matter if the captain favors the company that employees him, or has poor judgement, or whatever. You simply need a procedure to dispatch the disagreement immediately without “self-help”. The rules of due process, trial by jury, etc are all slightly modified when at sea or in the air because of danger. The adjudication of right comes later.

    The captain of the aircraft resolves such disputes, and it is incumbent on everyone to acquiesce in his decision. You can challenge it afterwards on the ground, you can sue, etc, but you cannot resort to “self help” in the cabin. If the captain says “get off” no matter how unjust you have to obey that one order.

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  • Haven’t you guys ever listened to the pre-flight announcement. “It is unlawful to not comply with the orders of crew members”. If an attendant says get out of the plane and you don’t you are breaking a federal law.

    Also as a matter of contract the ticket agreement says you may be bumped. Terms of the ticket are highly regulated. I understand that there is regulatory capture, but saying you don’t have to abide by a contract you voluntarily entered into because the industry lobbied for terms it likes is similar to saying an employer does not have to obey minimum wage laws because unions got minimum wages passed in the first place.

    No bumping means airlines will be flying empty seats around which the remaining passengers will be paying for. Or they could just make all tickets non-refundable and non-transferable, so if a traffic accident prevents you from making your flight to Hong Kong, you are out $3,000.

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  • Put together by the Washington Free Beacon.
  • @eD
    Interesting comment re modern art.

    After spending too much time in art galleries, I came to the conclusion that the world just hit peak art sometime about the time of the impressionists. There are just so many ways you can paint or photograph objects, and not bothering with depicting objects at all quickly turned into a dead end.

    Non-faustian civilizations are happy to just keep turning out paintings and sculpture in the same damn style for centuries, but the cult of the creative artist in the West got away with it. And the fact that we got very good and keeping and preserving old art made things worse.

    This is even more obvious in the case of music, where the amount of pleasing combinations of notes and chords is limited.

    Not a coincidence that painting died at the time of the invention of practical photography.

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  • From the NYT: Most of the R&D work that makes Apple and Microsoft products wildly profitable around the world is done in the U.S.. But the IRS seldom manages to collect its 35% tax on corporate profits from sales abroad due to blatant tax evasion tactics. As I wrote in 2011: Yesterday, Microsoft announced it...
  • @Autochthon
    Let them leave. If they want to sell their wares to the world's most profitable market, they will pay tariffs like any other foreigner importing things to the U.S.A.

    The pretence that no American had gainful employment or otherwise prospered before the rise of the vampire-squid corporatocracy must stop.

    They could leave with nothing and would soon create wealth, because they are creators. You, on the other hand, would learn to do without their products and jobs. You think you are entitled to their lives because exactly why . . .

    Gates, Bezos, Buffett were not born with billions in their pockets. They may have had access to a few million through family and contacts but lots of people born with a few million never do much with it, let alone provide life enhancing products to people, jobs to tens of thousands of people and wealth to lots of investors and employees. I find it annoying that you think you are entitlds to a big slice of their production because you can demand it.

    The business taxes are pertinent to people who create jobs, products and profits. You really think you are entitled to a big slice of that for your health care and retirement?

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    • Replies: @res

    You really think you are entitled to a big slice of that for your health care and retirement?
     
    That might be arguable.

    What is not arguable is that the infrastructure (rule of law, roads, power, water, etc., etc., not to mention the people) is critical to the success of those businesses. It is perfectly reasonable to require them to help pay for it. Let them move to Africa if they want to experience capitalism tooth and claw. I won't cry when some strongman decides to expropriate their assets.
    , @Autochthon
    I believe I have a run-of-the-mill autistic libertarian on my hands, but, against my better judgment, I'll bite.

    They could leave with nothing and would soon create wealth, because they are creators.
     
    Good for them.

    You, on the other hand, would learn to do without their products and jobs.
     
    I already know how to do without them. How about you? Crack shot with a bow and experienced at farming, are you?

    You think you are entitled to their lives because exactly why . . .
     
    I think I am entitled to some rich douchenozzle's life because I don't care whether he leaves the U.S.A.? I've advocated slavery now? Brush up on your logic, there, genius. I don't think I'm entitled to anything except being left the Hell alone; your smug, Randian tone suggests you ought to be able to understand that.

    The rest of your note goes on and on about your fantasy that I think I am entitled to this, that, and the other, and waxes orgasmic about what titans of productivy and beneficence your heroes Bezos, Warren, and Gates are (risible choices, given your Randian fantasies about self-made men who only had the minor spot of a few millions from daddy; since I achieved my success from homelessness and abuse).

    I am entitled to what I earn, take, and make. So far, that's been one Hell of a lot. My healthcare and retirement well and truly secure precisely because I am paid very well for my skills and knowledge.

    Your entire reponse suggests you meant to pedantically put an illiterate communist with an IQ of 80 and a net worth of $11.83 in his place.

    I don't know who you think you talkin' to. but I'm not him, alright Slim?

    , @anon

    They could leave with nothing and would soon create wealth,
     
    Technology (and the collapse of the Soviet Union) created a unique opportunity to arbitrage labor costs in the 3rd world with pre-existing wealth in the 1st i.e. move production to the then poorest places for 3rd world wages but sell the products back to the then richest countries at 1st world prices.

    The banking mafia bribed the political-media class into letting them do this and the result is a lot of billionaires, some improvements in the 3rd world and the gradual disintegration of the 1st world as the blood is slowly sucked out of them.

    However this model cannot survive long term - it is inherently unstable and can only last while the pre-existing wealth is leeched out of the 1st world countries. When that process is complete the global economy collapses.

    So yes no doubt the individuals you named might be millionaires in any environment but they probably wouldn't be billionaires.
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  • Call it the “Affordable Corporate Tax Reform and Fairness Act”.

    The tax system is so complex it is impossible to write laws in such a way that smart lawyers cannot game the system. I once worked on an airliner lease deal where the same 747 was considered owned by a Japanese Airline under Japanese Law and by an American Bank under American law. Two companies got to deduct the same airliner. The concept of “income” alone is practically metaphysical. You spend weeks in tax law trying to define income.

    The government should run on tariffs, user fees, sale of resources on public land (and the sale of public land to reduce the debt), The USG tolerates titanic inequality and unfairness just because the income tax raises so much revenue. Colleges look at your balance sheet before they price the product – and so does the USG. Price discrimination is a great way to subvert the benefits of supply and demand intersection on price.

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    • Replies: @nickyhaflinger
    The only morally applicable tax on citizens under the precepts of the constitution are property taxes. Of course non-citizens are a whole other story. Plus if Hamilton's federalist papers arguments are correct the practical, morality is irrelevant here, purpose of America is plutocracy and old money plutocracy at that. Ultimately the tax system should then be made so complex that only connected NY&DC insiders aren't simply criminalized by it. Which is roughly the current position. Huh, almost as if Steve's point about all social and political movements for the last several decades being some kind of boon for hustlers has merit.
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  • From the New York Times: There's no proof as of yet that the statue is of Ramses II (Ozymandias in Greek and in Percy Bysshe Shelley's famous poem), but he's the usual suspect because he ruled the longest and was the biggest builder. (Here's my 2015 Taki's column: "Hollywood Is Secretly Slightly to the Right...
  • At the British Museum I think, there is a stature of a pharaoh with a giant hole drilled in it. The British “explorer” could not move it intact so he drilled a big hole to attach a big chain so he could lift it onto the boat. I think the Assyrian gates also were chopped up into manageable pieces. Of course the Egyptian were money hungry and were happy to sell parts of antiquity for a few shekels, but it seems everyone comported themselves poorly.

    Maybe I am just applying present day sensibilities to an inapplicable time, but didn;t it occur to people that if something lasted three thousand years and had enough artistic merit to transport half way around the world, maybe you would not want to gratuitously deface it.

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    • Replies: @Yak-15
    Egypt has been living off the archaeology of their empire since probably before the Romans conquered them. It's been a perpetual has-been for two millennia now.
    , @Attila the Bum
    Because of Muslim iconoclasm it's a miracle any ancient sculptures survived intact in Egypt. It will be a still greater miracle if the extant ones survive another century. Europeans who removed Egyptian statues from the country have done a great service, and the only regret is that so many others were left behind.
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  • I don't know for sure that Palo Alto, CA, the home of the venture capital industry and next door to Stanford U., is really the highest IQ town in America. The highest test score public schools in America are in Lexington, MA, a suburb preferred by Boston area college professors. And I imagine tiny, rich...
  • @Anon

    The average home price in Palo Alto is $2.5 million, which is kind of a lot considering the average home is a nothing special ranch style house. Palo Alto houses average $1,471 per square foot, so a 3,000 square foot house would cost $4.4 million.
     
    I would have to question the intelligence of anybody paying that much for a ranch house.

    I don;t think people are living in Palo Alto primarily because there are few undesirable people. You can live in Montana or North Dakota or a small town in Minnesota and have nice polite neighbors. Price is next to nothing to boot.

    There are lots of high paying jobs near Palo Alto and if you get one of those dream jobs you will pay through the nose for housing.

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  • Denmark has had a relatively immigration restrictionist government for most of the last decade and a half. The economic horrors of that kind of Nazi regime are now becoming clear, as the NYT explains: Danish Companies Seek to Hire, but Everyone’s Already Working By LIZ ALDERMAN FEB. 28, 2017 COPENHAGEN — When Peter Enevoldsen won...
  • I feel sorry for the manager. If his margins go down that means he is a less profitable and possibly less secure business. Companies with razor thin margins go out of business left and right during downturns.

    Plus his has a giant expensive facility, Building, maintaining, improving and expanding that requires capital. Who is the bank more likely to make a loan to: a company with good margins or a company with little margins? What about investors. Would you put your pension money in a risky thing like stock if the return were dismal? His company competes with millions of other companies worldwide for capital. I can see his pitch for money now. “My company makes very little money but we pay great salaries to the local people. Maybe the town government will give him money for expansion.

    If he has to raise his prices to maintain a healthy margin he is probably competing with every other manufacturer in the EU and maybe worldwide. If the orders go out the door he looses his life accomplishment and all his employees loose their jobs.

    I’m not arguing for immigration, just that a company’s margin is not something optional nor is it squeezed out of workers paychecks. With the skilled labor shortage Denmark may be uncompetitive on that particular tractor part order and some other factory with other workers will get it. He may have offered as large a raise as he could while still being a viable enterprise.

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  • From NBER: When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon Hanson February 2017 Abstract The structure of marriage and child-rearing in U.S. households has undergone two marked shifts in the last three decades: a steep decline in the prevalence of marriage among young adults, and a...
  • Increased productivity makes people richer not poorer (because fewer workers are needed). People do not want to work, they want what work gets them. They want something that they can trade to get things they value from other productive people.

    Many of the successful doctors in my area have non-working wives who dedicate themselves to child rearing and managing the household. Maybe we will become rich enough as a society that most women can stay home, raise children and enjoy leisure like daytime tennis matches and brunches. With a quarter of the people voluntarily leaving the workforce wages would be higher for those who do work full time.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Increased productivity makes people richer not poorer (because fewer workers are needed). People do not want to work, they want what work gets them. They want something that they can trade to get things they value from other productive people.
     
    Highly disagree. Work is tied into identity, people do not merely seek leisure; otherwise we would have seen an explosion of nonworking women. While money is part of it, a large portion of it status and identity conferred from being a "productive member of society."
    , @Philip Owen
    We (advanced industrial countries) were societies where women down to at least the Skilled Working Class did stay at home. Then the banks offered mortgages based on two incomes and so disaster.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Scrivener, your last paragraph sounds like the world in a science-fiction story. I did not write that to sound snarky, so let me explain.

    Automation and just higher productivity in general of course make the world richer (thought of as an accumulated quantity over time), or at least wealth can be created more cheaply (thought of as a rate)*, this is true. The discussions here and elsewhere about who gets this increase in wealth and/or what governments can/should do to spread out the wealth are getting more interesting and important as we can see the world going toward automation so quickly. Most of what people have to say about ways to equalize the rewards are kind of disgusting to a libertarian. However, there doesn't seem to be a good free market way out of this because of the amount and type of people in the world and the trends thereof.

    Back to the science-fiction story, the future told by optimistic stories, in the 70's and 80's, during my enjoyment of this literature, looked more like a sparsely-populated world (along with other worlds we we might want to hang out) where we got around in flying machines, lived in our hand-picked beautiful environments far away from our fellow man until we wanted a change, worked a few hours a day at the work we loved, and worked on cool intellectual projects of all kinds with our copious spare time (due to the automation). It sounded great to me, though I never thought that much of the automation would come in my lifetime. That was wrong on my part. What was wrong on the part of the science-fiction writers however, was one big assumption about the people in this future world.

    The future people were all intelligent, and even 50 years ago, one might still rightly assume that the intelligent people would get ahead in the world and produce the bulk of the people of this bright future. Well, I should say "rightly" only if one didn't see the welfare state and the degradation of the culture coming. This assumption was way, way off. The bulk of the population of this world is not the intelligent and well-educated crowd, we all know that by now.

    Scrivener, your vision of the doctors and other professional's lives sounds good, but what about the rest of the population. The problem is that lower intelligence people will not make good use of their spare time. I don't mean just won't make productive use, I mean, basically, will be up to no good. "Idle hands are the devil's work", they say. Or, I guess they can all watch 12 hours of TV a day, eat tasty junk food and just veg-out basically ("bread and circuses"), but I can see that devolving to barely humans at some point. That is, unless the elites of that "society" encouraged in some way (additives in the junk food?) low reproduction to slowly transform society into that in the sci-fi books. Maybe that last thing is the big plan. Possibly this post is just nonsense due to an overdose of zerohedge comments.






    * Although peak oil aficionados and the like would differ on this with the valid point, and rightly so, that for real manufacturing (not creation of software and intellectual property) and mining and farming, there is no getting around the amount of energy needed for this work. Granted, productivity improvements can mean less energy is wasted in the processes involved, but there is a lower limit.
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  • Personally, I prefer the United States Constitution and the rule of law, even (or especially) if it comes to it. But then, unlike Bill Kristol, I'm a notorious extremist, so I would, wouldn't I?
  • @Mr. Anon

    Briefly stated, the Supreme Court does not have the authority to abrogate a law that the legislature passed just because it makes the government bigger.
     
    There is the interstate commerce clause. By what legerdemain did the Supreme Court construe NOT buying something (i.e. health insurance) to be engaging in commerce? NOT buying something is NOT engaging in commerce, interstate or otherwise. The federal government has no legitimate authority to force one to buy a product. The Supreme Court was way out of line.

    The SC has already ruled not buying something affects commerce. A farmer grew stuff for his own consumption which was unlawful under agriculture quotas so something like that. They said he growing and eating his own produce caused less to be sold on the market. He would buy it if he did not grow it and that is commerce.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    That's Wickard vs. Filburn, decided in the late 1930s, I believe. It's a bad precedent. It converts the Interstate Commerce Clause into a general police power, with disastrous results.
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  • @Anonym
    Surely a student of history 500 years in the future will study the Greece golden age, the Roman Republic and the USA as high points of individual freedom in a history of mankind sadly lacking in much of it.

    It really depends on how white people fare. The only people who care about freedom are white people. East Asians don't care for it. Arabs don't care for it. SSAs don't care for it. To the extent that we are around, we may study such things, but realistically freedom is mainly a concept that makes less and less sense in a world of cheap and effective transport that makes crossing borders and parasiting the tax and welfare systems of white people cheap and effective.

    No, what will be studied will be how a group of people allowed mass media and cultural indoctrination monopolies or oligopolies to flourish, how white people accepted a genocidal message against them, and how to prevent it ever happening again. We will study how we were taught to hate ourselves under the banner of "freedom".

    The only people who care about freedom are white people. East Asians don’t care for it.

    Tiananmen Square. No one likes their productive work taken from them by force. They may not know how to arrange it so that there is security and tradition and freedom all coexisting together. They may think putting up with powerful corrupt elites is better than the alternative (which might be competing warlords). That was the genius of the Constitution, security, an ordered society that can resolve conflicts between individuals and between individuals and the state (jury of peers) with some measure of justice. And it aint easy to get.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    That was the genius of the Constitution, security, an ordered society that can resolve conflicts between individuals and between individuals and the state (jury of peers) with some measure of justice. And it aint easy to get.

    Most of the genius in the constitution was in the Bill of Rights, from my perspective. And that Bill of Rights was more a product of compromise in order to birth the Federal government than a genius design from the beginning. The end result may have been genius, but such is often the product of several great minds working together.

    I would rather live in any of the Anglosphere countries, or for that matter, Europe, as they were, than post race replacement USA. It's possible that the second and first amendments will contain within them the defense against race replacement. In hindsight, freedom of association on the basis of race, and prohibition of non-white or Muslim immigration were glaring omissions. Freedom of religion should not have extended to Islam, and likely other major non-white religions.
    , @Anonym
    Tiananmen Square

    That expression of a desire for freedom did not get much support from the populace. It is telling that the biggest fighter for freedom of expression in East Asia is probably Hong Kong, which has a British influence.

    In fact, it would seem that most of the freedoms of speech in East Asia are themselves products of US or British occupation, control or influence. Maybe they like them now to varying extents but it seems that other concerns have held more sway in history.
    , @Anon
    Much as I dislike PRChina, the Tienanmen protesters and their supporters were and are a small minority, negligible outside Hong Kong.

    The US constitution is fairly good as constitutions go, the four-year presidency being a fairly good idea, replacing the kingship we couldn't have. The 1791 Polish constitution was probably a significantly better governing instrument, but the environments were very different. Certainly our constitution is better than some (did the framers of the 1931 Spanish republic really not realize that exempting deputies of the Cortes from prosecution was a really bad idea?); still, it would be foolish to claim that, for instance, Americans in the 19th century were freer in any meaningful way than Britons (well, non-Irish) or Canadians of the same period.
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  • How can anyone believe that the Constitution did not secure a good measure of individual freedom for the average American for nearly 200 years. The individual freedom lead to economic prosperity. In many ways the US is the engine of the entire global economy.

    No document is self executing and there was always the problem of whomever you gave the power to enforce the constitution being human would bend and interpret in ways that amassed power to him and his.

    Among other brilliant things was tripartite government where one branch naturally served to limit the other two. Federalism pitting States power against national power was another. Enumerated powers was another.

    Reminds me of a story I heard in law school. The lawyers and doctors were having a convention and after a few two many drinks one lawyer while speaking to the group opined, “We wrote the Constitution, when you doctors were putting leaches on George Washington’s ass.” Its sort of true. A couple lawyers in the colonies created more human progress, wealth, satisfaction, goodness, than any other profession. Think of the wealth created in America (not because of magic dirt), the progress, the millions of people allowed to live their lives as they saw fit. People of the same genetic stock in UK and Europe do not match the United States in any way.

    Surely a student of history 500 years in the future will study the Greece golden age, the Roman Republic and the USA as high points of individual freedom in a history of mankind sadly lacking in much of it.

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    • Agree: Whoever
    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    Or as high points of the exploitation of slaves.
    , @Anonym
    Surely a student of history 500 years in the future will study the Greece golden age, the Roman Republic and the USA as high points of individual freedom in a history of mankind sadly lacking in much of it.

    It really depends on how white people fare. The only people who care about freedom are white people. East Asians don't care for it. Arabs don't care for it. SSAs don't care for it. To the extent that we are around, we may study such things, but realistically freedom is mainly a concept that makes less and less sense in a world of cheap and effective transport that makes crossing borders and parasiting the tax and welfare systems of white people cheap and effective.

    No, what will be studied will be how a group of people allowed mass media and cultural indoctrination monopolies or oligopolies to flourish, how white people accepted a genocidal message against them, and how to prevent it ever happening again. We will study how we were taught to hate ourselves under the banner of "freedom".
    , @Bill

    Surely a student of history 500 years in the future will study the Greece golden age, the Roman Republic and the USA as high points of individual freedom in a history of mankind sadly lacking in much of it.
     
    Doubtful. Students in 500 years will likely think of the US in the 20th C as a kind of tinny, fading echo of the UK and Germany in the 19th C. Sort of like Moscow as the Third Rome.
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  •  
  • Everyone agrees that a press controlled by the government is bad. What about a government controlled by the press – Mossberg

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